Credit Suisse earnings soar
Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse yesterday said its second-quarter earnings soared 29 percent to 1.571 billion Swiss francs (US$1.47 billion), adding that it was well positioned to “perform well” even if the economic environment were to worsen. The earnings marked a second consecutive quarter of profits made by the bank as it recovers from a full-year loss of SF8.2 billion last year. The bank’s chief executive Brady Dougan said the global economic climate was expected to “remain challenging and uneven business conditions” should persist.
BAIC out of Opel race
General Motors Europe said yesterday it was no longer talking to China’s Beijing Automotive Industry Holding (BAIC, 北京汽車工業) about it acquiring Opel, leaving just two bidders: Magna and RHJ International. “We had a good and thoughtful discussion around the key operating metrics and key issues associated with the three final offers we received on Monday evening,” said John Smith, GM’s chief negotiator for the sale of Opel. “We have agreed to continue detailed talks with both Magna and RHJI to secure Opel’s future.”
Amazon buying Zappos
Online retail giant Amazon said on Wednesday that it was purchasing Internet shoe shop Zappos.com in a stock and cash deal valued at nearly US$850 million. Amazon said it expects the transaction to be complete by the end of this year. Zappos was founded in 1999 and gained fans with free shipping of shoe buys and a liberal return policy. Under the terms of the deal, Amazon will get all shares of Zappos stock in exchange for 10 million shares of Amazon stock valued at US$807 million based on an average of share prices in the 45 days ending on July 17.
Yahoo to buy Xoopit
Yahoo said on Wednesday it would buy Xoopit, a San Francisco startup specializing in finding and organizing photos buried in e-mail inboxes. “In short, Xoopit will bring phenomenal photo organization, improved photo sharing, and the serendipity of discovering forgotten photos to Yahoo Mail,” Yahoo Applications senior vice president Bryan Lamkin said in an online post. Xoopit-driven “My Photos” has become the third-most popular application at Yahoo Mail since it was added at the end of last year, Lamkin said.
Hyundai posts record profit
South Korea’s largest automaker, Hyundai Motor, yesterday reported its highest-ever quarterly net profit, despite the global economic downturn. Hyundai said net profit in April-June was 811.8 billion won (US$648.4 million), a 48 percent rise on 546.9 billion won for the same period last year. Operating profit fell 0.8 percent year-on-year to 657.3 billion won from 662.5 billion on higher marketing costs and lower exports. Declining exports dragged sales down 11 percent to 8.08 trillion won from 9.107 trillion won.
Kirin plans Suntory merger
Japanese drinks giant Kirin wants to seal a merger with smaller rival Suntory as soon as possible to create a top industry player in Asia, Kirin’s president said in an interview published yesterday. “We aim to be a leading company in Asia and Oceania,” Kirin Holdings Co president Kazuyasu Kato told the Nikkei economic daily. Kato said the two companies would proceed with “the spirit of equal partners.”