Tue, Jun 05, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Bussiness Quick Take

Agencies

BANKING

UniCredit considers merger

Italian bank UniCredit SpA is considering a merger with France’s Societe Generale SA (SocGen), a move that would combine two of Europe’s largest financial institutions, the Financial Times reported on Sunday. UniCredit chief executive officer Jean Pierre Mustier, who is French and once worked for SocGen, has been developing the idea for several months, the newspaper said, citing people close to the situation. SocGen directors have also been studying the possibility of a tie-up, it said. Discussions over such a merger are at an early stage, and they might be challenged by Italy’s recent political turmoil, the report said. That is already pushed back the potential timetable for a deal from an original plan of 18 months, the newspaper reported. SocGen, France’s second-biggest bank, has considered combining the entities over the past decade and a half, it said. SocGen in an e-mail denied “any board discussion regarding a potential merger with UniCredit.”

BANKING

CBA agrees to record fine

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has agreed to a record penalty of A$700 million (US$529.3 million) to settle explosive money laundering charges brought by Australia’s financial intelligence agency. The fine is almost double the amount CBA had set aside to finalize the matter and represents a record penalty for money laundering and terror finance breaches, the Australian government said yesterday. Australia’s biggest bank breached the law on 53,750 occasions, where suspicious transactions were repeatedly not reported and monitoring processes failed, according to an agreed statement of facts tendered in court by both parties. “The money laundered through the CBA accounts included the proceeds of drug and firearms importation and distribution syndicates — predominantly involving methamphetamine,” the court document said.

INTERNET

Facebook denies NYT report

Facebook Inc is disputing a New York Times (NYT) report about how it shares data with device makers from Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc to Samsung Electronics Co. They are privy to Facebook users’ information, but it is nothing like the access that led to the Cambridge Analytica controversy, the social network platform said. The Times reported that Facebook had struck deals with device manufacturers that allowed them full access to information on users and their friends. However, the US company contends those pacts were intended to help device makers create their own versions of Facebook apps, and the data mostly remained on smartphones that accessed it. That kind of arrangement was necessary before smartphone operating systems relied on app stores, it added.

VIETNAM

Renewable share to triple

The country plans to more than triple the amount of electricity it produces from renewable sources and push for a 26 percent increase in household solar energy usage by 2030, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc told Reuters in an interview. Speaking ahead of the country’s participation in the expanded G7 summit that is to be held in Canada from Friday to Saturday, Phuc also said he hopes the country can utilize its about 20 million tonnes of rare earth reserves, which he said are the world’s third-largest, in building new energy technologies. The country’s largest rare earth mine is in the northern Lai Chau Province, near the border with China.

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