Industrial output rebounds
The nation’s industrial output showed a slight expansion in September from a month before, snapping a three-month run of contractions, government data showed yesterday. Production in the mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity industries grew 0.8 percent, following a revised 0.9 percent drop in August, Statistics Korea said. From a year earlier, the September reading was up 0.7 percent. Industrial output had fallen for three consecutive months beginning in June.
S&P cuts Argentine rating
Standard & Poor’s cut the country’s credit rating by one notch on Tuesday, four days after a key New York court ruling on Argentine bonds increased pressure on the government’s ability to manage its debts. S&P lowered the country’s rating to “B-” from “B,” deep into junk bond territory, and appended a negative outlook on the rating, a warning that another rating cut could come within a year if conditions in the nation’s economy worsen.
Softbank first-half profit falls
Japanese mobile carrier Softbank, which recently announced a US$20 billion takeover of US firm Sprint Nextel, yesterday said its half-year net profit tumbled 22 percent from a year ago. The company posted a net profit for the six months to September of ￥169.4 billion (US$2.13 billion), while sales rose 3.3 percent to ￥1.59 trillion. Softbank said its half-year profit fell due to a special loss related to the slumping stock price of online games firm Zynga, in which it has a stake.
Ford defies Q3 forecasts
Ford Motor Co posted a third-quarter profit that trounced Wall Street forecasts on Tuesday, driven by higher vehicle prices and record profit margins of 12 percent in North America. In the third quarter, Ford posted an overall pretax operating profit of US$2.2 billion, or US$0.40 per share. In the third quarter, Ford earned US$2.3 billion in North America, but lost US$468 million in Europe. It earned US$9 million in South America as well as US$45 million in the Asia Pacific area and Africa, the first profit for those regions since the second quarter of last year.
Barclays reports Q3 loss
Barclays PLC has reported a third-quarter net loss of ￡200 million (US$322 million) as earnings were hit in part by a previously announced ￡700 million rise in provisions to compensate customers for payment protection insurance. The loss disclosed yesterday compared with a profit of ￡2.7 billion a year ago. Barclays said adjusted income, a measure of revenue, was flat at ￡22.3 billion. It was the bank’s first earnings report since Anthony Jenkins was appointed chief executive in August. He said the results demonstrated good momentum, but added: “we have much to do to restore trust among stakeholders.”
ArcelorMittal posts loss
ArcelorMittal SA, the world’s largest steelmaker, has reported a third-quarter loss of US$709 million as compared with a US$659 million profit for the same period a year ago. The company yesterday cited the effect of China’s economic slowdown on the global economy and said it was committed to reducing its debt, and increasing its productivity and efficiency. The results were a sharp drop from those for the second quarter, when the company posted a net profit of US$959 million.