Tue, Jul 24, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



China launches steel probe

Beijing has launched a trade investigation of steel from Europe and South Korea, potentially complicating efforts to recruit them as allies in its tariff dispute with US President Donald Trump. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said that it would look into whether some stainless steel products from the EU, South Korea, Japan and Indonesia are sold at improperly low prices and should be subject to anti-dumping duties. The announcement came as Beijing tries to rally foreign support in its dispute with Trump over the US’ tariff hikes imposed in response to complaints that Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology. Chinese leaders have tried, so far in vain, to appeal to European leaders and South Korean businesspeople by promising to increase imports — a step that would be set back if duties on steel increased.


Barclays eyes India retail

Barclays PLC is considering a return to consumer banking in India as it seeks to deploy more of the capital it holds in the South Asian unit, people familiar with the matter said. The UK bank, which decided to pull out of the business in 2011, aims to rebuild the retail banking operation in Asia’s third-largest economy through digital channels, the people said. Barclaycard International chief executive Barry Rodrigues would oversee the platform, which would mobilize deposits and offer loans electronically, the people said. Barclays is reentering some businesses and markets in the Asia-Pacific region as CEO Jes Staley puts an era of restructuring behind him. The Indian retail business model would not require any additional capital infusion from the parent company because the amount that it holds in the nation would be enough for its growth plans there, the people said.


UBS not to raise threshold

UBS Group AG has no plans to follow other banks and raise the US$2 million threshold for access to its private banking services, UBS China head of global wealth management Marina Lui said. “This is not under discussion,” Lui said in an interview in Hong Kong when asked about moves by other banks to raise the minimums required from private clients. Other wealth managers have raised their thresholds over the past few years, as tighter regulation and higher compliance costs have pushed banks to focus on higher-value clients. Standard Chartered PLC and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp’s (華僑銀行) Bank of Singapore have both announced plans to raise the minimum assets required from their private clients from US$2 million to US$5 million.


Julius Baer new money slows

Julius Baer Group Ltd, Switzerland’s third-largest wealth manager, is counting on faster hiring to boost growth after net new money slowed under chief executive Bernhard Hodler. The Zurich-based private bank added 10 billion Swiss francs (US$10.08 billion) in the first six months, a slower pace than a year ago, although within the bank’s target range. Net new money is a closely watched figure as an indicator for future revenue. The wealth manager hired 79 relationship managers, just short of its target for the entire year. While the firm has enjoyed stellar growth through high-profile acquisitions and a hiring spree, analysts are questioning whether Hodler can sustain the success of former CEO Boris Collardi, who left for rival Pictet Group. The bank has also been grappling with cost and margin pressures.

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