Thu, Apr 05, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



Amazon in Flipkart talks Inc might put in a rival bid to acquire Bangalore-based Flipkart Online Services Pvt even as the Indian e-commerce market leader is in talks with Walmart Inc for a majority stake sale, according to the Mint newspaper. Amazon has held early exploratory discussions to buy Flipkart, the newspaper reported, citing unidentified people. However, it said a deal with Walmart is more likely to go through. The world’s biggest retailer is closing in on acquiring 55 percent of Flipkart through a mix of primary and secondary share purchases that could value the Indian company at US$21 billion, the report said.


US sales rise by 6.3 percent

US auto sales last month grew 6.3 percent on rising sales of sports utility vehicles (SUV) and pickup trucks. Automakers sold more than 1.6 million vehicles for the month as buyers came out of hibernation after a cold, snowy winter in much of the country. Truck and SUV sales rose 16.3 percent, while car sales plunged 9.2 percent, Autodata Corp said. Nearly two-thirds of all vehicles sold were trucks or SUVs. General Motors Co posted the biggest sales increase at 15.7 percent to 296,138 vehicles and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV reported almost a 13.6 percent increase to 216,063 vehicles. Ford Motor Co also saw sales rise 3.5 percent to 243,021 units.


BOJ spends record on funds

It has been a bad year for the Tokyo stock market. Without record purchases by the Bank of Japan (BOJ), it could have been even worse. The central bank spent ¥833 billion (US$7.85 billion) on exchange-traded funds tracking the country’s shares last month, the biggest amount in data stretching back to late in 2010. In the first quarter it also bought more than ever before. The bank stepped in as the market slumped in a global equity rout, deserted by foreign investors, with the benchmark Topix index sinking to its first back-to-back monthly declines since the beginning of 2016.


Softbank mulls Swiss deal

Swiss reinsurance giant Swiss Re AG yesterday said talks were ongoing with Softbank Group Corp, but that the Japanese group would likely take a stake of no more than 10 percent, much less than earlier expectations. Swiss Re announced that it was in talks the technology investor in February, but had never mentioned the size of the possible stake. Financial news media, including Bloomberg, have cited sources familiar with the talks as saying the Japanese firm could take up to a third of Swiss Re for more than US$10 billion. At current share prices, a 10 percent stake in Swiss Re would be worth about US$3.5 billion.


New York Fed selects head

The New York Federal Reserve Bank on Tuesday said that it has selected John Williams to take the helm of the institution that is key to monitoring financial markets and implementing US central bank policy. Williams, who heads the San Francisco Fed and previously served as Former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen’s deputy, is to assume the New York position on June 18. He is to replace William Dudley who announced in November last year that he would be retiring a few months early.

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