September output slumped
Industrial production slumped in September, official data showed yesterday, dashing hopes of a quick rebound and adding to the gloom over Europe’s powerhouse economy. Industrial output dropped by 0.6 percent month-on-month, federal statistics authority Destatis said, wiping out August’s gain of 0.4 percent. Analysts surveyed by Factset had expected a smaller dip of 0.4 percent in September. Manufacturing firms fared worst, seeing a drop of 1.3 percent, in the latest sign of weakness among the nation’s export-oriented companies.
Baidu still posts net loss
Chinese search leader Baidu Inc (百度) beat revenue estimates in its latest quarter, but still posted a net loss, which it attributed mainly to equity investments that fared poorly. The Beijing-based firm said that total revenue in the third quarter ending Sept. 30 came in at 28.1 billion yuan (US$4.02 billion), down slightly from a year earlier, but just beating a 27.5 billion yuan average predicted in a Bloomberg poll of analysts. Baidu reported a net loss of 6.37 billion yuan for the quarter from a year earlier, due largely to a “non-cash impairment” of 8.9 billion yuan on equity investments.
China Pacific looks overseas
China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co (中國太平洋保險) is in talks to invest at least US$2 billion for a stake in Swiss Re AG as it seeks to build partnerships overseas, people familiar with the matter said. Swiss Re would also spend US$500 million to US$1 billion for a minority stake in China Pacific as part of the deal, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Swiss Re said in a statement on Wednesday that it has been exploring a potential investment in a sale of new securities by China Pacific. No definitive agreements have been reached and a deal would depend on factors, including whether China Pacific decides to proceed with the offering, it said.
Commerzbank trend dashed
Commerzbank AG yesterday said that profit this year would come in lower than last year after the lender posted a 35 percent jump in its third-quarter net profit. Revenue this year is no longer expected to be higher, the German state-backed bank said, citing trade conflicts, the negative impact of monetary policy in the eurozone and expectations for a higher tax rate in the fourth quarter. Net profit in the third quarter came in at 294 million euros (US$325.6 million), up from 218 million euros last year, in line with preliminary figures published last month, the bank said.
Lenovo earnings soar 20%
Lenovo Group Ltd’s (聯想) quarterly earnings surged 20 percent after the Chinese personal computer giant safeguarded its market share against US rivals HP Inc and Dell Technologies Inc. Net income rose 20 percent to US$202.2 million in the three months ended September. That compares with the US$201 million average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue increased 1 percent to US$13.52 billion, versus the US$13.7 billion average of 10 analysts’ estimates. The company expects global demand to “remain volatile amid a complex macro environment,” it said in a statement, adding that it is “well positioned to manage complex and dynamic market conditions.”
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