Fri, Jul 12, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

BREWERIES

Budweiser tips low-end IPO

Budweiser Brewing Company APAC Ltd — the Asia-Pacific unit of Anheuser-Busch InBev NV — is guiding potential investors that it could price its US$9.8 billion Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) toward the low end of a marketed range. The company stopped taking orders from investors in Asia and Europe at 5pm yesterday in each region and at midday New York time. The firm is offering 1.63 billion shares at HK$40 to HK$47 each. The final price had not been set and the pricing level was subject to change.

INSURERS

Swiss Re suspends debut

Swiss Re AG said that it suspended the debut offering of ReAssure Group PLC, as the plan to raise as much as US$4.1 billion from the sale of its UK unit fizzled due to weak investor demand. ReAssure was offering its IPO shares at £0.28 to £0.33 apiece, implying a market value of as much as £3.3 billion (US$4.1 billion). Swiss Re chief financial officer John Dacey said that the company still aims to reduce its stake in ReAssure.

REAL ESTATE

UK home buying rises

The UK housing market saw an increase in new buyers for the first time since November 2016 last month, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said yesterday. There are several signs that the housing market is starting to stabilize, it said. Sales and new instructions started to pick up last month for the first time this year. A gauge of prices indicated stagnation after four months of declines. Sales are expected to increase over the next 12 months, but the looming possibility of a no-deal Brexit is preventing realtors from becoming too optimistic.

GAMING

Smaller Switch announced

Game giant Nintendo Co has announced the release of a scaled-back, cheaper version of its runaway success Switch console, expected out in September ahead of the key holiday shopping season. Switch Lite, which is to sell for US$199.99, will be a strictly handheld device that cannot be used with television sets. The new edition’s controllers will be permanently fixed on either side of the screen. It is to hit shelves on Sept. 20, the Japan-based company said in a statement yesterday.

AUTO SALES

Chinese sales decline

China’s auto sales fell 7.8 percent last month amid a trade dispute with Washington and slower economic growth. People in the global industry’s biggest market bought 1.7 million SUVs, sedans and minivans, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, an industry group. Total purchases in the first six months of this year fell 14 percent from a year earlier to 10.1 million vehicles, it said.

AIRLINES

Norwegian CEO quits

Low-cost travel pioneer Bjorn Kjos is stepping down as chief executive officer of Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, just as the discount carrier makes headway toward resolving a debt crisis that was fueled by the rapid expansion he led. Kjos, who helped found Norwegian in 1993, will leave the post immediately, the company said in a statement yesterday. Norwegian Air Shuttle chief financial officer Geir Karlsen is to become interim chief executive officer until a permanent successor is found, it said.

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