Sun, Feb 24, 2019 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

AUTOMAKERS

EU opens antitrust probe

The European Commission is investigating five carmakers including Renault SA and Peugeot-maker PSA Group for possible antitrust violations on car parts, German weekly Der Spiegel reported, without saying where it obtained the information. Nissan Motor Co, Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV are also being investigated, the report said. The probe centers around whether the companies colluded to raise prices by as much as 25 percent on car parts with the help of consulting firm Accenture.

ITALY

Fitch maintains rating

Italy’s sovereign credit rating was left unchanged at two notches above junk by Fitch Ratings, which said that an extremely high level of general government debt and the absence of structural fiscal adjustment still pose risks. The level was confirmed at “BBB,” while the outlook was maintained at negative. Fitch forecasts GDP growth of 0.3 percent this year, down from 0.8 percent last year, with investment growth falling to 0.4 percent from 3.8 percent last year. It expects an increase in the general government deficit to 2.3 percent of GDP this year, from 1.9 percent last year.

TECHNOLOGY

Twitter cofounder departs

Twitter Inc cofounder and former chief executive Evan Williams is stepping down from the board, leaving the one-to-many messaging service to focus on “other projects,” the firm said. Williams is to depart the Twitter board at the end of this week, Twitter said in a filing on Friday. Williams ceded his role as chief executive to Dick Costolo in 2010.

ENRON

Former CEO leaves prison

Former Enron Corp chief executive Jeffrey Skilling has been released from prison after serving 12 years for his role in a fraud scheme that sent the US energy giant into bankruptcy. The Houston Chronicle reported that Skilling, 65, was released on Thursday after completing about half of what was initially a 24-year sentence, but was reduced on appeal. Skilling was in May 2006 convicted of 19 counts of conspiracy, fraud and insider trading, and ordered to forfeit about US$45 million in assets, including his home.

BANKING

EY probed over scandal

EY, the accounting firm engaged by Swedbank AB following a report that the bank was involved in money laundering, is being probed in Denmark over an Estonian dirty-money scandal surrounding Danske Bank A/S. The investigation of EY has been running since October, after Danske admitted that much of the U$230 billion that flowed through a tiny Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015 was suspicious, a Danish government spokesman said on Friday

ENGINEERING

SNC writes down oil assets

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc, a Canadian engineering and construction giant, on Friday posted a C$1.6 billion (US$1.22 billion) quarterly loss. The Montreal-based firm wrote down significant oil and gas assets and warned that its business prospects in Saudi Arabia, where it has major engineering contracts, were worsening because of a diplomatic row between Ottawa and Riyadh.

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