Sat, May 12, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



Japanese units to merge

Daiwa Securities Group Inc and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc have agreed to merge asset management units, people familiar with the situation said. Sumitomo Mitsui would take a 50.1 percent stake in the combined company, while Daiwa would own more than 20 percent, said the people, who asked not to be identified. Reports that the companies were negotiating a deal emerged last week. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd, part of Japan’s second-largest brokerage, plans to complete the merger with Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Co, a unit of the nation’s second-largest lender, in April next year, they said.


Geely mulls Volvo IPO

Volvo Cars owner Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co (浙江吉利) has selected Citigroup Inc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Morgan Stanley to advise on an initial public offering (IPO) for the Swedish carmaker this year, people with knowledge of the matter said. Zhejiang Geely and Volvo have discussed valuing the Swedish automaker at between US$16 billion and US$30 billion in a stock sale, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. The companies held meetings in Sweden and Hong Kong this month to discuss a dual listing in both venues, they said.


Tax hike focuses on health

The government hiked excise taxes on sugary drinks, alcohol, cigarettes and polluting cars on Thursday in a bid to tackle public health problems linked to obesity and cancer, while shoring up public resources. The Ministry of Economy and Finance said the tax on cigarettes would rise to 0.27 sol (US$0.08) from 0.18 sol each and drinks with a high sugar content would be taxed 25 percent instead of 17 percent. Beverages with more than 20 percent alcohol content and used cars powered by petroleum-derived gasoline also face higher taxes. Dual-fuel cars, which are run partly on natural gas or other cleaner fuels, would be tax-free, the ministry added.


Consumer prices pick up

Consumer prices rebounded last month after dipping in March, driven by a surge in gasoline prices and an uptick in housing costs, but the Department of Labor report on Thursday was tamer than expected. Food prices also rose, as did medical services, but cell phone services — which had been blamed for the bafflingly low inflation last year — were flat after finally rising in March. The consumer price index, which tracks costs for household goods and services, rose 0.2 percent compared to March, seasonally adjusted, and was up 2.5 percent from a year earlier.


Mazda announces next CEO

Mazda Motor Corp named Akira Marumoto its next chief executive officer to lead a revival in earnings growth in the face of a slowing US market and stiff competition in China. Marumoto, an executive vice president who heads operations in the US, is to replace Masamichi Kogai after the change is ratified at an annual shareholder meeting on June 26, Mazda said yesterday. Kogai is to become chairman following a five-year tenure in which he orchestrated deeper ties with Toyota Motor Corp. Both of Kogai’s most recent predecessors also served five-year terms. Mazda is among Japan’s most export-dependent automakers, with less than a fifth of revenue generated at home.

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