Solar panel tariffs mulled
The EU executive yesterday proposed heavy anti-dumping tariffs of about 47 percent on imports of Chinese solar panels, a EU source said. The source said “the consultation process has been launched” to see whether EU nations are in agreement with the proposal. A decision is expected to be announced on June 5. The EU ProSun industry association has been pressing the EU to take action against Chinese imports, which it says are sold below cost and given unfair subsidies.
Housing boom a threat
A housing boom in the country’s largest cities threatens to destabilize the country’s financial system, the central bank warned yesterday. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand said low interest rates and improving sentiment in global financial markets had resulted in a rise in household credit over the past six months, fueling the property market. It said the problem was worst in New Zealand’s biggest city, Auckland, where house prices are near record levels.
Ten-year bonds sold
The country sold 10-year bonds on Tuesday for the first time since it needed a bailout in 2011, raising 3 billion euros (US$3.9 billion) on international markets. The Treasury said the bonds were sold at a rate of 5.669 percent on Tuesday. Foreign investors bought 86 percent of the bonds, and demand was so strong that Portugal could have sold 10 billion euros’ worth, Treasury Secretary Maria Luis Albuquerque said.
GM China factory approved
General Motors (GM) says its Chinese joint venture has received government approval to build a Cadillac factory as the company tries to boost sales of its luxury brand. GM said yesterday that plans call for the factory in Shanghai to begin production in 2015 with an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles. The company said total investment should be at least 8 billion yuan (US$1.3 billion).
Changes to JPMorgan urged
A leading shareholder advisory group on Tuesday urged JPMorgan Chase investors to end chief executive Jamie Dimon’s tenure as chairman and fire a majority of the company’s board after a US$6.2 billion trading loss. Glass Lewis became the second major proxy adviser in recent days to endorse splitting the chairman and chief executive roles at JPMorgan in the wake of the bank’s “London whale” derivatives debacle.
ING Groep NV earnings up
Dutch financial company ING Groep NV reported yesterday that its first-quarter earnings rose as it sold businesses and improved profit margins at its banking arm. Its insurance arm reported a loss. Net profit was 1.80 billion euros, compared with 728 million euros in the same period a year ago. This quarter’s figure includes 940 million euros in net gains on divestments, mostly from the sale of its life insurance business in Asia.
Disney income up 32%
Revenue gains at Disney’s parks and movie studio led to a 32 percent increase in net income during the January-March quarter. The results, which topped analyst expectations on Tuesday, showed that the company’s record-setting investments in a new cruise ship and multiple theme park upgrades last year are starting to pay off. Net income grew to US$1.51 billion, or US$0.83 per share. Revenue grew 10 percent to US$10.55 billion.