Sat, Nov 03, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

MALAYSIA

High deficit target set

The government aims to push its budget deficit to the highest in five years and seek to draw more income from the state oil company to help plug the shortfall. In the first budget since Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad took office in May, the government is widening its deficit target for this year to 3.7 percent of GDP from a 2.8 percent target under the previous government. The shortfall is set to ease to 3.4 percent next year, according to reports released by the government yesterday.

SOUTH AFRICA

President fires tax chief

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday sacked the head of the tax collection agency, an ally of scandal-tainted former president Jacob Zuma, the presidency said. Ramaphosa dismissed Tom Moyane after a judiciary inquiry recommended his immediate removal “to forestall any further deterioration of our tax administration system,” a statement from his office said. Ramaphosa suspended the tax chief in March and ordered the probe into the South African Revenue Authority.

GAMING

Caesars CEO to step down

Caesars Entertainment Corp president and CEO Mark Frissora is to step down next year, the casino giant said on Thursday. The Las Vegas-based company said Frissora, who joined the company in 2015, is to remain on the job until Feb. 8. The announcement came just before Caesars reported third-quarter net income of US$110 million, after posting a loss in the same period a year earlier. On a per-share basis, company said it had net income of US$0.14. Revenue was US$2.19 billion in the third quarter.

BANKING

Macquarie ups profit target

Macquarie Group is headed for another year of earnings growth after the Australian investment bank and asset manager upgraded its profit forecast on the back of a surge in income from its commodities and capital markets businesses. Net income rose 5 percent to A$1.31 billion (US$944 million) in the six months ended Sept. 30, the Sydney-based company said yesterday. The bank forecast full-year income would rise 10 percent, a big upgrade from its previous guidance.

INTERNET

Spotify falls on outlook

Spotify AB shares slid 5.7 percent on Thursday after a disappointing growth outlook offset the first-ever quarterly profit posted by the streaming music sector leader. Spotify said the number of paid “premium” subscribers rose to 87 million in the quarter, and it posted a first-ever profit of 43 million euros (US$49 million) as a result of a tax adjustment. Total revenue was US$1.35 billion, up 31 percent from a year ago, largely in line with forecasts. However, its growth outlook was weaker than expected, with the Swedish firm forecasting revenue increases of between 18 and 35 percent in the coming quarter.

ENERGY

Ivory Coast nears deals

The Ivory Coast is nearing production-sharing deals for oil and gas with Total SA and Eni SpA, two people familiar with the matter said. Talks between the government and the companies over separate deals for two blocks each are at an advanced stage and expected to be concluded before the end of the year, the people said. While the size of the companies’ holdings are yet to be finalized, their stakes would be at least 85 percent, with state-owned oil producer Petroci Holdings owning the remaining portion, the people said.

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