World Business Quick Take

Agencies

Thu, Jul 18, 2013 - Page 15

GERMANY

Investor confidence declines

A survey is showing an unexpected decline in German investor confidence following disappointing industrial production and export figures. The ZEW institute said on Tuesday its monthly index measuring investors’ economic outlook for the next six months declined to 36.3 points this month from 38.5 last month. Economists had expected an increase to 39.8. However, the index remains well above its historical average of 23.7. ZEW president Clemens Fuest said market experts remain generally positive, illustrating “their confidence in the robustness of the German economy.”

AUTOMAKERS

Ford offers hybrid upgrades

Ford Motor Co is offering free upgrades to US and Canadian hybrid customers to improve their fuel economy. The company plans to recalibrate the vehicle control systems on 77,000 Ford C-Max and Fusion hybrids and Lincoln MKZ hybrids from 2013 model year. Some customers have complained that the cars are not getting the 20 kilometers per liter fuel economy promised in Ford’s advertising. Ford will increase the maximum speed the cars can be driven in electric mode from 100kph to 137kph.

AUTOMAKERS

Investment in India doubled

Franco-Japanese auto alliance Renault-Nissan on Tuesday said it would double its investments in India to US$5 billion over the next five years as it seeks to grab market share. The investment will be spent in such areas as launching new products and adding fresh production capacity. The alliance also announced plans for a new global vehicle platform, developed from scratch in India for high-growth emerging markets. With its new products, including its relaunched Datsun brand for India, the alliance is aiming to have a 15 percent market share in a few years, without specifying a time frame.

INVESTMENT

Goldman’s earnings double

US investment bank Goldman Sachs on Tuesday reported earnings that doubled last year’s level due to a big jump in revenues from its own investments and lending. Net income came in at US$1.9 billion on revenues of US$8.6 billion for the second quarter, more than twice the year-ago profit of US$927 million on revenues of US$6.6 billion. Goldman’s per share earnings were US$3.70, well above the US$2.82 forecast by analysts. Net revenues in this area grew from US$203 million in the year-ago quarter to US$1.4 billion.

PHARMACEUTICALS

Novartis raises outlook

Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis AG has raised its outlook for the full year, despite a 5 percent net income drop in the second quarter. The company said it expects full-year sales to grow at a rate in the low single-digits, boosted by delays in generic competition against its blockbuster Diovan, a treatment for high blood pressure. Novartis yesterday said its net income fell to US$2.548 billion, down from US$2.675 billion in the same period a year ago.

MANUFACTURING

ASML’s net profit drops

ASML Holding NV, the largest equipment supplier to semiconductor makers such as Intel and Samsung, says its net profit fell to 221 million euros (US$290 million) in the second quarter, from 292 euros in the same period last year. Sales for the quarter were almost unchanged from last year at 1.2 billion euros. ASML raised its outlook for full-year sales to 5 billion euros, up from the 4.73 billion euros earlier announced.