Fri, Jun 28, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

RETAIL

H&M trims expansion

Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M) cut its store expansion plan as the Swedish clothing retailer’s earnings fell for an eighth consecutive quarter and the buildup of unsold garments worsened. Pretax profit dropped 1.3 percent to 5.93 billion kronor (US$639.7 million) in the three months through last month. Analysts had expected 6 billion kronor. H&M said it would open 45 fewer stores than originally planned this year. The good news is that H&M’s sales rose 12 percent this month, the first month of the third quarter.

TECHNOLOGY

Apple buys self-driving firm

Apple Inc has bought struggling self-driving vehicle start-up Drive.ai, as it continues to explore the potential market for robotic vehicles, despite curtailing its work on the technology. The Cupertino, California-based company on Wednesday confirmed its acquisition of Drive.ai without disclosing the price. A filing with California labor regulators disclosed that Drive.ai planned to close its doors today, laying off 90 people. Apple did not say whether its deal included the engineers who were set to lose their jobs.

NEW ZEALAND

Leak handling ‘clumsy’

Ireland’s incoming central bank chief was criticized yesterday for his “clumsy” handling of an accidental budget leak that he blamed on hacking. In a damning report, the State Services Commission said that Secretary of the Treasury Gabriel Makhlouf was more intent on blaming others for the security breach than addressing his own failures and those of his department. Makhlouf is to leave his job in Wellington this week before becoming Central Bank of Ireland governor in September.

AUTOMAKERS

Renault change ‘not needed’

French President Emmanuel Macron yesterday said there was no need to change France’s stake in automaker Renault SA, insisting that the issue had nothing to do with the crisis faced by its Japanese partner, Nissan Motor Co. Renault owns 43 percent of Nissan and the French state in turn holds a 15-percent stake in Renault. “There is no reason to change the cross-shareholdings, the governance and ... the state’s holding in Renault, which has nothing to do with Nissan,” Macron said in Tokyo. “It is not by changing the shareholdings that Nissan will get better.”

SOCIAL MEDIA

Instagram to add ad space

Instagram on Wednesday said it plans to launch advertising on its Explore page, expanding marketing opportunities on the Facebook Inc-owned social network. In the coming months, ads are to appear on the Explore feed, where users go to discover content aligned with their interests, an Instagram blog post said. The statement said the ad rollout would be done “slowly and thoughtfully.”

REAL ESTATE

Blackstone buys offices

Blackstone Group LP has struck its biggest deal in Australia, agreeing to buy A$1.52 billion (US$1.06 billion) of offices in Sydney’s central business district. New York-based Blackstone is to take control of the office space above Scentre Group’s Westfield mall on Sydney’s main shopping strip. Scentre is to retain ownership of the mall and Sydney Tower, a 309m-tall landmark housing an observation deck and revolving restaurant.

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