Thu, Feb 14, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

BANKING

ABN Amro misses estimates

ABN Amro Group NV missed fourth-quarter profit estimates on increased anti-money laundering costs and as an anticipated dividend increase failed to materialize. The Dutch lender kept its dividend at 1.45 euros for last year, the same as the year before, missing analyst estimates of 1.54 euros. Fourth-quarter net income was 316 million euros (US$357.7 million), including 85 million euros in pre-tax for additional costs of customer due diligence programs and elevated loan impairments. The CET 1 ratio declined to 18.4 percent from 18.6 percent in the previous quarter, maintaining one of the highest capital buffers in Europe. Net interest income fell to 1.64 billion euros from 1.7 billion euros a year earlier, as ABN Amro faced increased competitions from new players — mostly pension funds and insurers — in the mortgage market.

BEVERAGES

Heineken beats forecast

Heineken NV, the second-largest brewer in the world, reported full-year earnings that beat analysts’ estimates, helped by the fastest sales growth of its namesake brand in a decade. Adjusted operating profit on an organic basis rose 6.4 percent to 3.87 billion euros last year, beating the average analyst estimate of 3.84 billion euros. Full-year beer volume rose 4.2 percent, the Dutch company said. Analysts expected 4 percent growth. The rise of low and no-alcohol beers is increasing demand for Heineken 0.0, helping the brewer’s flagship brand boost volumes by 7.7 percent. Heineken reported that profit growth was partly due to running its business more efficiently as commodity expenses rise. The company has forecast a mid-single-digit percentage growth in operating profit this year as it tries to manage those costs.

AUTOMAKERS

Ghosn lawyers withdraw

Carlos Ghosn’s Japanese lawyers, hired after the former Nissan Motor Co chairman was sent to jail in November last year, have asked to be removed from the case, potentially hurting the executive’s defense against the financial misconduct allegations that have shocked the global auto industry. Ghosn has selected Junichiro Hironaka as his new lawyer, the Sankei reported, citing unidentified people. The previous lawyers, including Motonari Otsuru, have notified the court that they will no longer represent him as counsel, an e-mailed statement showed yesterday.

UNITED KINGDOM

Inflation slows to 1.9%

Cheaper gasoline and energy brought cheer to households last month as consumer prices likely rose at their slowest annual pace in two years, data showed yesterday. Inflation probably eased to 1.9 percent, below the Bank of England’s 2 percent target for the first time since January 2017. The figures were expected to provide policymakers with further reasons to refrain from increasing interest rates as Brexit uncertainty grips the economy.

RENEWABLES

India poses opportunity

India is presenting a potential investment opportunity of US$50 billion in battery storage facilities that could help integrate renewable energy into the grid, replace polluting diesel-fueled power and boosting electric mobility, US energy firm AES Corp chief executive Andres Gluski said. AES completed the nation’s first 10-megawatt battery-storage system to support the grid in the capital, New Delhi. Built in partnership with Mitsubishi Corp for almost US$9 million, the project would demonstrate the benefits of energy storage to clients, regulators and the government, Gluski said.

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