Thu, Aug 02, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

GAMBLING

Harrah’s offers sports betting

An Atlantic City casino was to become the fourth in New Jersey to offer sports betting. Harrah’s casino was to start taking sports bets at 11am yesterday, two days after its sister property, Bally’s, did. The Borgata, Ocean Resort and Bally’s are also offering sports bets, along with two horse racing tracks, the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park. What everyone is waiting for is approval to offer mobile or online sports betting. No one has yet been approved to offer that, although numerous gambling companies have applied to state gambling regulators for permission to do so before the American football season begins next month. The Borgata, which on June 14 became the first casino to offer sports betting, is presumably furthest along in the approval process for online sports betting. New Jersey in May won a US Supreme Court case clearing the way for all 50 states to offer sports betting should they choose to do so.

UNITED KINGDOM

Housing prices gain pace

Housing prices gained momentum last month after rising at their slowest annual rate in five years in June, mortgage lender Nationwide Building Society said yesterday. Housing prices rose by an average 2.5 percent from a year earlier, faster than growth of 2 percent in June and above a forecast for a 1.9 percent rise in a Reuters poll of economists. In monthly terms, prices last month rose by 0.6 percent, faster than the Reuters poll forecast of 0.2 percent. The annual increase remained in the narrow 2 to 3 percent range of the past 12 months and the lender still expected prices to rise by only 1 percent this year, Nationwide said. The country’s housing market has slowed since the 2016 referendum decision to take the country out of the EU.

DEFENSE

BAE share dive in first half

BAE Systems PLC earnings fell almost 10 percent in the first half of the year as Europe’s biggest defense company booked hits against its US operations, offsetting gains from major contract wins. Underlying earnings before interest, tax and amortization dropped to £874 million (US$1.14 billion) from £967 million a year earlier, London-based BAE said in a statement yesterday. While BAE has won contracts to provide military vehicles to the US Army, warships to the Royal Australian Navy and fighter jets to the Qatar Air Force, it posted additional costs at a munitions plant in Radford, Virginia, and for the wind down of US shipbuilding programs. The company is also working to end losses at its cybersecurity arm. Chief executive officer Charles Woodburn said BAE is maintaining its guidance for annual results in line with last year’s 42.1 pence a share in what he described as a “transition earnings year” for the group.

INTERNET

Baidu profit up on news app

Baidu Inc (百度) yesterday said net profit for the second quarter of this year jumped 45 percent, fueled by growth in its personalized news app and artificial intelligence (AI) projects. The firm logged a net income of 6.4 billion yuan (US$967 million) for the April-to-June period. The Beijing-based company said its total revenue swelled 32 percent and about three-quarters of its profit came from mobile revenue. Baidu App, which offers personalized news feeds and search, in June saw daily active users rise 17 percent annually to 148 million. Baidu has been trying to reposition itself from a heavy reliance on the search-engine business toward technologies used in AI, which Beijing wants the country to become a leader in.

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