Thu, Feb 21, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



HSBC banks on lira collapse

HSBC Holdings PLC earned about US$120 million in a single day during Turkey’s financial crisis last year as it profited from the collapse of the lira, according to a regulatory disclosure made by the bank. The Turkish currency’s collapse over the summer hit trading profits at some investment banks with exposure to the country, such as Barclays PLC. However, HSBC benefited from the fall in the lira’s value. The outsized gains “driven by volatility in Turkish lira spot” were more than twice as big as predicted by HSBC’s market risk models, according to a filing published on Tuesday alongside the bank’s full-year results. The lender said that the profit was the biggest of three exceptions it found when it back-tested its model against actual gains and losses for the year.


AccountGuard expands reach

Microsoft Corp yesterday said that it would offer its cybersecurity service AccountGuard to 12 new markets in Europe, including Germany, France and Spain, to close security gaps and protect customers in political space from hacking. Microsoft has detected attacks, which occurred between September and December last year, targeting employees of the German Council on Foreign Relations and European offices of the Aspen Institute and the German Marshall Fund, the company said. The AccountGuard service would also be available in Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal and Slovakia. German officials are trying to bolster cybersecurity after a far-reaching data breach by a 20-year-old student laid bare the vulnerability of Europe’s largest economy.


PepsiCo buys CytoSport

PepsiCo Inc’s new chief executive officer Ramon Laguarta has made his first acquisition, purchasing the maker of sports and wellness products Muscle Milk from Hormel Foods Corp for an undisclosed amount. Hormel Foods — the maker of Spam and Skippy peanut butter — announced the sale of its CytoSport unit in a statement on Tuesday. The deal is expected to close in 30 to 60 days. Hormel chief executive officer Jim Snee said that PepsiCo is “in a strong position to grow this dynamic business.” CytoSport makes Muscle Milk and Evolve Protein products, which include protein powders, shakes and bars. Both are marketed as healthy, natural products to an active set of consumers — a segment of the market that has experienced growth.


Glencore net profits fall

Glencore PLC yesterday said that its net profits tumbled 41 percent last year, although the mining and commodity trading giant said operating profits rose to a record level. Net profit fell to US$3.4 billion, but the Switzerland-based firm said its measure of operating profit — adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization costs — rose by 8 percent to a record US$15.8 billion. The firm’s commodity trading business saw its operating earnings fall by 17 percent to US$2.4 billion, but mining rose 15 percent to US$13.3 billion. Chief executive officer Ivan Glasenberg said in an earnings statement that “we achieved these results in a challenging operating environment” and that Glencore’s strong cash generation would allow it to pay out roughly US$2.8 billion in dividends to shareholders.

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