RBI may turn hawkish
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) might become more vigilant on inflation as economic growth strengthens, increasing the risk of monetary tightening. The government on Wednesday raised its growth forecast for the year ending next month to 6.6 percent from the 6.5 percent it predicted in January. The economy expanded 7.2 percent last quarter from a year earlier, beating the 7 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg survey and the previous quarter’s 6.5 percent. Inflation accelerated to 5.21 percent in December last year before easing slightly in January.
US’ Q4 growth trimmed
US economic growth in the final three months of last year was revised down slightly to annual growth of 2.5 percent, as businesses spent less on investment and restocking shelves than the US Department of Commerce’s initial estimate of 2.6 percent. The fourth-quarter advance followed faster increases of 3.1 percent at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in the second quarter and 3.2 percent in the third quarter, the department reported on Wednesday.
Exxon drops Rosneft
Exxon Mobil Corp on Wednesday said it is abandoning joint ventures with Rosneft PJSC after international sanctions against Russia paralyzed a historic drilling project. Irving, Texas-based Exxon decided to exit the ventures late last year and said it would lead to an after-tax loss of US$200 million this year. The investment came to a standstill in 2014 after the Russian energy sector was targeted by US and EU sanctions amid conflicts in Crimea and Ukraine.
Peugeot posts record profits
French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen yesterday said that its profits raced to new records last year even if its newly acquired Opel and Vauxhall brands weighed on earnings. The group said in a statement that its net profit rose 11.5 percent to a record 1.929 billion euros (US$2.4 billion), while operating profit climbed 23 percent to 3.991 billion euros and sales grew 20.7 percent to 65.2 billion euros.
RBS may cut more jobs
Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (RBS) chief financial officer Ewen Stevenson signaled further job cuts in an interview, as Britain’s biggest government-owned lender accelerates its investment in technology. Stevenson said that restructuring costs of ￡2.5 billion (US$3.45 billion) announced last week were in part related to the disposal of properties and “data centers,” which are a legacy of the past. He did not give a target for potential job reductions at the company, which shut 259 branches in December last year, as customers increasingly access their accounts online.
Carrefour falls into red
Carrefour SA on Wednesday said it fell into a loss last year, as competition among retailers in France intensified, reinforcing the need to push forward with an overhaul it announced last month. Penalized by exceptional items, including costs related to an old chain of stores in France, the food and goods retailer said it suffered a net loss of 531 million euros. Sales rose 3 percent last year to 88.24 billion euros. However, on a like-for-like basis, the growth rate slid to 1.6 percent from 3 percent in 2016, Carrefour said.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion
’WHITE BOX’: The open platform would give local firms access to Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop 5G telecom equipment and tap into the global market The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday introduced a new 5G “open lab” in collaboration with US-based information technology and networking giant Cisco Systems Inc to address the rapidly growing “white box” 5G networking equipment market. The open lab will be a platform where Taiwanese manufacturers can access Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop their own 5G telecom equipment, such as small-cell base stations, network switches, modems and Internet of things (IoT) devices, a ministry statement said. The open platform would allow Taiwanese manufacturers to tap into the lucrative 5G telecom equipment market, which was previously monopolized by Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB