World Business Quick Take

Agencies

Thu, Jun 26, 2014 - Page 15

COMMUNICATIONS

Samsung profits slip

Samsung Electronics Co expects its second-quarter earnings to be “not that good,” chief financial officer Lee Sang-hoon said. The company is expected to post operating profit of 8.4 trillion won (US$8.2 billion) in the three months ending June, according to the average of 35 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Samsung’s earnings have slipped from a record 10.2 trillion won in the third quarter of last year as sales of its Galaxy devices are squeezed by Apple Inc iPhones in the high-end market and inexpensive Chinese producers in the budget segment.

FRANCE

Growth is disappointing

France’s state statistics agency dealt a blow to French President Francois Hollande’s government on Tuesday as it said the economy would grow less then predicted this year and unemployment would rise. The INSEE statistics agency said the French economy would grow by only 0.7 percent this year, lower than a government prediction of 1 percent. It said unemployment would rise in the second quarter by 0.1 point to 9.8 percent and stay at that level until the end of this year. France’s economy grew by only 0.4 percent last year.

GERMANY

Consumers more confident

Consumer confidence in Germany is rising again, buoyed by the European Central Bank’s recent decision to cut interest rates, a new poll found yesterday. Looking ahead to next month, market research company GfK’s headline household confidence index was forecast to rise to 8.9 points next month from 8.6 points this month. For the past four months, the index has stagnated.

UTILITIES

Paris selling GDF Suez stake

France’s cash-strapped government on Tuesday put its 3.1 percent stake in energy giant GDF Suez up for sale, in a bid to raise funds to buy a controlling stake in Alstom. At the close, GDF Suez shares stood at 20.8 euros, valuing the sale at 1.56 billion euros (US$2.1 billion). The proceeds from the sale of 75 million shares to selected investors “can be used to finance the state’s purchase of a stake in Alstom,” France’s economy and finance ministers said in a statement.

AUTOMAKERS

Toyota launches fuel cells

Japanese auto giant Toyota will start selling its first fuel cell sedan this financial year, with a price tag of around ¥7 million (US$70,000), the company announced yesterday. The vehicles will be rolled out by March and beyond the home market during the summer of next year, it said, in a move that will see the environmentally friendly cars available in the US and Europe. This is the first time Toyota has given a specific timeframe for its fuel cell cars, which it had previously said would go on the market next year.

FINANCE

Briton sentenced for fraud

A former senior Credit Suisse investment banker was sentenced on Tuesday in New York for hiding US$100 million in losses on sub-prime mortgage bonds in the 2007 US housing market collapse. David Higgs had already pleaded guilty in 2012 to charges of falsifying the Swiss bank’s records, and agreed to cooperate in the probe of several Credit Suisse officials, and so was sentenced to time served, the US Justice Department said. The British citizen was also ordered to pay nearly US$1 million in fines and forfeiture of gains.