Shell Q1 profit up 2 percent
Royal Dutch Shell PLC yesterday said that net profit edged higher to US$6 billion in the first quarter, with the advance capped by cooler oil prices and a dip in production. Profit after tax climbed 2 percent compared with the first three months of last year, the Anglo-Dutch group said in an earnings statement. Oil and gas production dipped 2 percent to 3.75 million barrels per day, while average crude prices were slightly lower compared with a year earlier. “Shell has made a strong start to 2019,” chief executive Ben van Beurden said in the statement.
VW profits slip over scandal
Volkswagen AG yesterday reported a slip in profits in the first quarter, in part blaming a 1 billion euro (US$1.12 billion) charge over “legal risks” related to its “dieselgate” emissions cheating scandal. This year, net profit at the group dropped 7.5 percent year-on-year to just more than 3 billion euros in the first quarter. Operating profit was down 8.2 percent, at 3.9 billion euros, on revenue up 3.1 percent at just more than 60 billion euros, the company said.
BNP surges despite losses
BNP Paribas SA reported the biggest fixed-income trading jump of all US and European banks in the first quarter, marking a rebound after recent losses and downgraded targets. Debt trading revenue unexpectedly rose 29 percent from a year earlier, helped by growth in rates and foreign-exchange transactions, the French bank said yesterday. That helped BNP’s global markets unit — its key trading division — post pretax profit of 252 million euros, above the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Carlsberg Asian revenue up
Carlsberg A/S joined Heineken NV in reporting a strong start to the year as Asian revenue surged, helped by the acquisition of Cambrew, a Cambodian brewer. Revenue in the first quarter rose 6.4 percent on an organic basis, reaching 13.9 billion kroner (US$2.09 billion), while analysts expected 13.5 billion kroner. International brands such as Carlsberg, Tuborg and 1664 Blanc performed especially well in China, chief executive officer Cees ’t Hart said yesterday.
Tesla faces suit over death
The family of a California man killed in a Tesla has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company, blaming Tesla Inc’s self-driving technology as “defective,” attorneys said on Wednesday. The lawsuit, filed on Friday last week in California Superior Court, asserts that the death of Walter Huang (黃偉倫) in March last year resulted from Tesla’s “Autopilot” technology. Tesla has defended its technology, saying that Huang’s hands were not detected on the wheel just before the crash. Besides Tesla, the suit also names the California Department of Transportation.
Crude exports hit 2019 top
The nation made more than US$7 billion last month from its crude exports, the highest monthly revenue so far this year and about US$300 million more than the previous month, Ministry of Oil figures showed on Wednesday. Federal authorities exported just less than 104 million barrels, averaging at 3.47 million barrels per day. It had exported more than 104 million barrels in March.
UNDERESTIMATED: The agency said that as its previous forecast was guided by the SARS crisis, it did not adequately account for disruptions caused by the pandemic The nation’s economy might grow just 1.67 percent this year squarely on the back of government expenditure and private investment, as exports and consumer spending have stalled, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday. The forecast is a sizeable retreat from an estimate of 2.37 percent growth made in February before the COVID-19 outbreaks became a pandemic. “The previous forecast was guided by the SARS crisis in 2003 and therefore underestimated the ongoing pandemic, which is hitting economic activity hard at home and abroad,” DGBAS Minister Chu Tzer-ming (朱澤民) told a media briefing in Taipei. The agency now expects exports
‘SUSCEPTIBLE’: The timing of an intervention, rather than the amount of money injected to the market, is more important, the deputy minister of finance said The National Stabilization Fund would remain on stand-by to shore up the local bourse until the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided worldwide, Deputy Minister of Finance Frank Juan (阮清華) said yesterday. Although Taiwan has stopped the virus’ spread, the fund would remain active in light of fragile financial markets across the world, said Juan, the state-run fund’s executive secretary. The government activated the fund on March 20 after the TAIEX slumped from 12,000 points to 8,600 in a short period amid a panic selloff. The main board has since recovered, yesterday closing at 10,997.21 points on turnover of NT$180.767 billion (US$6.03 billion), Taiwan
‘EXTERNAL VULNERABILITY’: The city-state’s economy in the first quarter shrank 4.7 percent quarterly due to worsening external demand outlook amid the pandemic Singapore’s embattled economy could shrink by as much as 7 percent this year, which would be the worst reading since independence in 1965, with the government saying yesterday that the COVID-19 pandemic had throttled the key export sector. The Singaporean Ministry of Trade and Industry’s forecast — which was a downgrade from the 4 percent contraction predicted in March — came as official data showed that the economy shrank 0.7 percent year-on-year in the first three months of the year, while it contracted 4.7 percent from the previous quarter. The ministry said the new estimate was made “in view of the deterioration
South Korean prosecutors yesterday summoned Samsung Electronics Co vice chairman Jay Y. Lee for questioning in an investigation into alleged accounting fraud and a controversial 2015 merger of two Samsung affiliates, dealing another legal blow to the country’s largest corporation. While expected, the decision marked a deepening of a long-running probe into the billionaire scion and his shipbuilding-to-smartphones Samsung Group conglomerate. The company’s de facto leader was called into Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office at 8am in relation to allegations over illegal acts in succession plans, the Yonhap News Agency reported. Lee has been at the center of a years-long scandal