BNP Q2 profit barely dips
French bank BNP Paribas SA weathered the COVID-19 storm in the second quarter with only a small dip in net profits to 2.3 billion euros (US$2.72 billion) thanks to a surge in investment banking. The 6.9 percent drop in net profit came as provisions for bad loans more than doubled to hit 1.4 billion euros at the end of last month. The volatility in markets during the second quarter has been a boon for BNP Paribas, with its corporate and investment banking division recording a 30 percent jump in revenue. Overall, revenues were up 4.0 percent to 11.7 billion euros at the eurozone’s biggest bank by market capitalization.
IAG sees 3.8bn euros HY loss
International Airlines Group (IAG), the owner of British Airways PLC, yesterday posted a first-half net loss of 3.8 billion euros due to the “devastating” effects of COVID-19. The group, which last year posted a net profit of 806 million euros, also unveiled plans for a capital increase of up to 2.75 billion euros in a results statement, as it seeks to navigate fallout from the virus crisis. IAG swung to a pre-tax loss of 4.2 billion euros, which contrasted with profit of 1.0 billion euros a year earlier. Revenues tanked 56 percent to 5.3 billion euros in the reporting period.
AI stake takes Ford to black
Ford Motor Co on Thursday posted results that were not as grim as expected for a second quarter that saw its US factories shuttered for half of the period to combat the spread of COVID-19 and potential buyers sheltering in place. Ford reported a US$1.12 billion second-quarter net profit, pushed into the black by a US$3.5 billion gain on the value of its stake in the Argo artificial intelligence (AI) autonomous vehicle operation. Without the one-time gain, the company lost US$1.9 billion, or US$0.35 per share. A year ago, Ford posted a US$148 million net profit. The automaker’s second-quarter revenue was down by about half from a year ago to US$19.37 billion.
Chip stocking amid HK fears
Importers of computer chips are ramping up their purchases of equipment through Hong Kong, in the expectation that US sanctions on the territory would soon make trading much harder. For buyers like Huawei Technologies Co (華為), Xiaomi Corp (小米) or Lenovo Group Inc (聯想), a worst-case scenario would entail severe supply bottlenecks. Re-exports of semiconductors through Hong Kong to China jumped 11 percent annually in the first half of this year, almost double the increase in total chip purchases, Bloomberg calculations showed. Re-exports rose by 21 percent last month alone.
Scania to cut 5,000 jobs
Truck maker Scania, part of Volkswagen AG’s Traton SE group, yesterday said that it would cut 5,000 jobs globally due to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. “To ensure a continued profitable Scania that can contribute to driving the shift toward a sustainable transport system, intensive and comprehensive work is also underway to adapt Scania’s cost structure longer term,” Scania president and CEO Henrik Henriksson said in a statement. “We now face the tough measure of reducing the organization by about 5,000 employees globally,” he added.
POOR INTERNAL CONTROLS: Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa said the company is expected to get back on track while its chairman is suspended The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$939,415) for a reckless investment that endangered its solvency, and suspended its chairman Eugene Wu (吳東進) for poor supervision. The penalty is the second-highest in a single case after Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) was fined NT$30 million in September last year and its chairman Du Ying-tzyong (杜英宗) suspended for two years, the commission said. In three rounds of special and regular examinations conducted since last year, the commission found that Shin Kong Life had given too much power to an asset and liability management committee
Tesla Inc is planning to ship vehicles made at its Shanghai Gigafactory to other markets in Asia and Europe, people familiar with the matter said, as the company looks to realize its plan to reduce shipping costs and manufacture vehicles closer to customers. China-built Tesla Model 3s intended for delivery outside China would likely start mass production in the fourth quarter of the year, the people said, asking not to be identified because the details are private. They said the markets targeted include Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, as well as Europe, where customers currently have to wait for a Tesla to
Continental AG, which makes control units for Daimler AG cars, cannot pursue antitrust claims against a group of patent owners, including Qualcomm Inc, which are seeking royalties on telecommunications technology, a federal judge in Texas ruled. Avanci LLC, a licensing pool formed by Qualcomm, Nokia Oyj, Sharp Corp and other owners of patents on technology standards, is not breaching antitrust laws when it negotiates license agreements with automakers rather than the component makers, Barbara Lynn, chief district judge for the Northern District of Texas, said in dismissing the suit in a decision posted on Friday. The licensing group charges US$15 per vehicle
Nano-X Imaging Ltd, a start-up founded by Israeli investor Ran Poliakine, is joining forces with South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc to build a machine that could disrupt a century-old X-ray industry. Valued at about US$2 billion after listing on the NASDAQ last month, Nano-X is seeking to transform a multibillion-dollar industry that has essentially relied on the same technology since Nobel Prize in Physics winner Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-rays in the late 19th century. Nano-X’s device uses semiconductors instead of metal filaments to generate X-rays. The backing of SK Hynix, the world’s second-largest maker of memory chips, is a boost for