Sat, May 05, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

BANKING

HSBC announces buyback

HSBC Holdings PLC yesterday said its latest multibillion-dollar share buyback of up to US$2 billion in shares would “commence shortly” and is the only one it plans for this year. London-based HSBC said pretax profit slipped 4 percent from a year ago to US$4.8 billion as operating expenses for business investment and enhancing “digital capabilities” rose 13 percent, outpacing revenue, which grew 6 percent to US$13.7 billion. Net income came in at US$3.1 billion, little changed from the previous year.

AUTOMAKERS

BMW net profit rises further

German automaker BMW AG saw first-quarter net profit rise slightly from an already high level as sales strengthened across all regions and the company’s 5-Series sedan and X1 sport utility logged double-digit increases. Net profit rose 1.2 percent to a record 2.301 billion euros (US$2.752 billion), from 2.274 billion euros in the same quarter a year ago. Revenues for the Munich-based automaker fell 5 percent to 22.7 billion euros, mostly due to shifting currency exchange rates.

CHEMICALS

BASF positive despite slip

German chemicals giant BASF AG said yesterday it remains confident of meeting its forecasts for the full year, even as it reported falling revenues and profits in the first quarter. Net profit at the group slipped 2.0 percent year-on-year, to just under 1.7 billion euros from January to March. However, BASF increased operating profit 3 percent to 2.5 billion euros, while revenues fell 1 percent to 16.6 billion. Overall “we have had a good start to the year,” chief executive officer Kurt Bock said.

ELECTRONICS

Berkshire boosts Apple stake

Berkshire Hathaway Inc bought an additional 75 million shares of Apple Inc, bolstering its stake and backing the iPhone maker’s ability to generate profits, CNBC reported, citing chairman Warren Buffett. The stock purchase adds to the nearly 170 million shares that Berkshire Hathaway already owns and would see it overtake State Street Corp to become Apple’s third-largest investor, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. The Cupertino, California-based company was already Buffett’s biggest shareholding.

ENERGY

BP mulls asset purchase

BP PLC is weighing an acquisition of some of BHP Billiton Ltd’s energy assets as the British oil major seeks more US shale, people familiar with the matter said. The London-based company is working with Morgan Stanley to advise on the plans, said the people, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. BP is weighing teaming up with other suitors or swapping conventional assets — where oil and gas typically flow more easily to the surface than shale — with BHP, they said.

? AVIATION

OAG names busiest route

The trip between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur is the world’s busiest international air route, with more than 30,500 flights between the cities in the year to February, a new study showed. There was a daily average of 84 flights making the short hop, which takes about an hour, the study by air travel intelligence firm OAG found. Asia dominated the list of the world’s 20 busiest international air routes, with 14 operating to and from destinations in the region, OAG said.

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