World Business Quick Take

Agencies

Sun, Nov 26, 2017 - Page 15

GERMANY

Confidence hits record high

Business confidence has soared to a fresh record high this month, a closely watched survey released on Friday showed, as companies shrugged off political uncertainty. The Ifo Institute for Economic Research’s business climate index jumped from last month’s high of 116.7 points to a historic 117.5 points, beating analysts’ expectations. Businesses were slightly more pessimistic about their current economic situation than in the past month, the survey showed, but they expressed greater optimism about the future.

INTERNET

Yandex to merge with Uber

Yandex NV, Russia’s largest technology company, received local anti-trust approval to merge its ride-hailing business with Uber Technologies Inc’s in the country, the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service said on Friday. However, the Yandex-Uber joint venture is required not to prevent its passengers, drivers and partners from working with other ride-hailing services, the service said. The merger is expected to be completed in January.

CHEMICALS

France suspends licenses

A French court on Friday suspended the license for two pesticides made by Dow Chemical Co, citing potential environmental risks, including harmful effects on bees. The summary ruling by an administrative court in the southern city of Nice overturned the decision in September by French health and environment agency ANSES to grant a permit for the Closer and Transform crop chemicals, which contain the insecticide sulfoxaflor. Dow Chemical in September completed a merger with E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co to become DowDuPont Inc.

FINANCE

WeLab eyeing IPO: sources

An online lender backed by Credit Suisse Group AG is working on a listing just weeks after closing a private funding round. WeLab Ltd has picked banks to advise on a Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) that could raise about US$500 million, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The China-focused lender, whose backers also include billionaire Li Ka-shing (李嘉誠), aims to list as soon as next year, the people said. No final decisions on an IPO have been made, and there was no certainty that the deliberations would result in a transaction, the people said.

BANKING

BNP to cut tobacco firm ties

BNP Paribas SA is to cease funding and advising tobacco companies, the latest financial firm to distance itself from the industry over health concerns. The French bank is to halt transactions and investments related to the sector and “progressively disengage” from relationships with tobacco clients, BNP global head of corporate social responsibility Laurence Pessez said in an interview. The decision applies to all types of products and services, although the bank would honor all contractual commitments, she said. France’s largest insurer, AXA SA, last year said that it would stop investing in tobacco and divest of its assets in the industry.