Tue, Mar 26, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



Sinopec profits surge

Chinese energy giant Sinopec Corp (中國石油化工), the world’s largest oil refiner, yesterday said its annual profit last year soared by almost a quarter thanks to growing domestic demand for natural gas. Sinopec’s profit grew 23.4 percent to 63.1 billion yuan (US$9.4 billion), the company said in a report submitted to the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Domestic consumption of natural gas rose 18.1 percent to 280.3 billion cubic meters as the country’s environmental regulations became “more stringent,” the company said.


Banks consulted over merger

Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz and his state secretaries held talks with nearly 40 international banks over the past few months amid deliberations over a possible merger of Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG, Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland reported. The conversations included European firms such as UBS Group AG and BNP Paribas SA, as well as global banks like JPMorgan Chase & Co, Citibank and Bank of China Ltd (中國銀行), the report said, quoting a parliamentary question filed by Green Party politician Danyal Bayaz.


Alibaba buys InfinityAR

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) has acquired Israeli start-up Infinity Augmented Reality (InfinityAR), after investing in the company three years ago. InfinityAR would join Alibaba’s Israel Machine Vision Laboratory, the start-up said in a statement posted on its Web site on Thursday last week. Financial details were not disclosed, but Alibaba paid more than US$10 million, according to an estimate from market sources cited by Globes.


Snub imperils EU arms deal

The government might retaliate against an EU plan to curb palm oil use by purchasing new fighter jets from China instead of European arms companies, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Sunday. The country is the world’s second-largest palm oil producer after neighboring Indonesia, and both countries have been at loggerheads with EU lawmakers over the crop’s cultivation, which has caused rampant deforestation and destruction of wildlife. Mahathir’s remarks come the day before a five-day international defense exhibition being hosted by the country.


EU might sanction Amazon

Amazon.com Inc is combining some offerings in a way similar to Alphabet Inc’s Google and could face sanctions to safeguard rules of competition, said Achim Wambach, chairman of Germany’s Monopolies Commission, an expert panel that advises the country’s federal government. “Amazon Prime connects different services as well,” Wambach told Welt am Sonntag in an interview, referring to the company’s membership program. The EU last year fined Google 4.3 billion euros (US$4.87 billion) for breaching antitrust rules.


Naspers mulls spin-offs

Naspers Ltd, the South African tech investor, is spinning off its main Internet businesses and listing them in Amsterdam in a push to boost its valuation. Naspers, which has a primary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, plans to list the Internet businesses not based in South Africa — the bulk of the company — on the Euronext Amsterdam. The spinoff, to initially be called NewCo, is expected to be 75 percent-owned by Naspers, with the rest a free float.

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