Sat, Jan 12, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

STOCK MARKETS

Fed spooks investors

Already-jittery US stock markets on Thursday temporarily shot lower following another remark from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. The Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly dropped more than 250 points from the day’s high after Powell said the Fed’s large securities holdings should be “substantially smaller” than the current level of just under US$4 trillion. However, in prepared remarks released later on Thursday, Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida reiterated the central bank’s reassurance that if needed it could stop or slow the drawdown of its securities holdings.

AVIATION

Merger gets green light

Boeing Co and Embraer SA are to push ahead with their proposed merger after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday confirmed that he would not oppose the move. A statement published by the presidency said Bolsonaro was satisfied that “the final proposal preserves [Brazil’s] sovereignty and national interests,” and hence he would not exercise his “veto” right to scupper the merger. Under the US$5.2 billion deal, Boeing is to take control of Embraer’s commercial airplane manufacturing business.

AUTOMAKERS

Ford to lay off thousands

Ford Motor Co is to cut thousands of jobs, weed out slow-selling models and potentially close factories in Europe, as the automaker’s global cost-cutting drive targets a region that has dragged on earnings for years. Ford, which employs about 54,000 workers across the region mainly in Germany, Britain and Spain, would also review its joint venture in Russia, part of a host of measures that head of Europe Steven Armstrong called a “step-change in the performance of the business.” He did not specify the number of possible job cuts and said that plant closures are an option to streamline operations.

ELECTRONICS

Xiaomi to invest 10bn yuan

Xiaomi Corp (小米) is to invest at least 10 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion) on artificial intelligence and smart devices over the next five years. The investment is part of the Beijing-based company’s strategy of wringing more revenue from high-value services and the Internet of Things, billionaire cofounder Lei Jun (雷軍) said in a statement. The company is also focusing on pushing upmarket while expanding into Europe, Lei told Bloomberg Television on Thursday.

BANKING

Credit Suisse to buy shares

Credit Suisse Group AG expects to buy back shares worth at least 1 billion Swiss francs (US$1.02 billion) by the end of this year as chief executive Tidjane Thiam rewards investors for sticking with him through a three-year revamp. The bank’s board has authorized purchases of as much as SF1.5 billion this year “subject to market and economic conditions,” Credit Suisse said in a statement yesterday. The program is to begin on Monday.

BANKING

JPMorgan to raise bonuses

JPMorgan Chase & Co plans to increase annual bonuses at its corporate and investment bank, as a growing number of Wall Street firms share proceeds from a busy year, a person briefed on the decision said. Average percentage increases are to be in the mid-single digit percentage, with equities traders and investment bankers probably getting more than that, the person said. The division accounts for about a third of the firm’s revenue.

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