Saturday, November 11th, 2017


Wall Street titans poised to grow in China after frustrating era

NEW YORK, Nov 11 — Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Citigroup Inc are finding patience pays off in China. The trio now have an advantage over some of their largest Wall Street rivals after officials in charge of the world’s No. 2…

China says TPP trade deal will not impact RCEP

DANANG (Vietnam), Nov 11 — The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal will not impact prospects for the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) pact, China’s Foreign Ministry said today. Zhang Jun, Director General…

Asia-Pacific leaders say to fight ‘unfair trade’ in nod to Trump

DANANG (Vietnam), Nov 11 — Asia-Pacific leaders agreed today to address “unfair trade practices” and “market distorting subsidies” in a statement that bore the imprint of US President Donald Trump’s efforts to reshape the global…

Apec leaders agree to address ‘unfair trade practices’

DANANG (Vietnam), Nov 11 — Asia-Pacific leaders today agreed to address “unfair trade practices” and urgently called for the removal of “market distorting subsidies.” A joint statement issued by 21 countries of the Asia-Pacific…

Equifax offers apology for hack amid sinking earnings

NEW YORK: Scandal-hit credit bureau Equifax on Friday apologized to consumers and investors for its massive security breach, a day after reporting a sharp drop in quarterly earnings.

In an investor call, interim CEO Paulino do Rego Barros outlined steps he said the company was taking to improve security practices and compensate members of the public whose information was stolen.

The company sparked a public outcry and congressional inquiries in September after revealing that hackers had stolen the personal details, including names, dates of birth and social security numbers, of nearly 146 million people.

The company gathers data on consumers to help lenders determine borrowers' creditworthiness.

“I and the entire Equifax organization apologize to the individuals whose personal information was stolen, as well as to our customers, partners, investors, managers and other constituents,” Barros said.

The company on Thursday reported US$96.3 million, (RM403 million) in net quarterly income, a year-on-year drop of 27%. Revenues, however, were up four percent at US$834.9 million.

The hack resulted in a one-time charge of US$87.5 million for investigation and legal costs as well as offers of free credit monitoring to all US citizens.

Equifax also said it believed lender clients had put off some business with Equifax until the company can assure it has stepped up security to protect consumer data.

Chief Financial Officer John Gamble said Friday the company's executives would forgo incentive pay this year as a result of the breach.

Since the disclosure, the share of Equifax credit files locked or frozen by consumers has gone from 0.5% to between 1.5% and two percent, according to Gamble.

The company is now facing state and federal investigations as well as class-action lawsuits over the breach and has offered free credit monitoring to members of the general public, regardless of whether their information was stolen.

Equifax said this month that executives who sold nearly US$2 million in stock just prior to the disclosure of the hack were unaware of the breach at the time. — AFP

World stocks slip as tax jitters sap confidence

NEW YORK: Global stock markets retreated Friday, extending the previous session's losses, as uncertainty over US President Donald Trump's much-vaunted tax cuts and lackluster corporate earnings took their toll on investor confidence.

At the close of the trading day in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped an eight-week winning streak, closing 0.2% lower, while the broad S&P 500 and tech-dominated Nasdaq were essentially flat.

Senate Republicans on Thursday released a tax plan that would put off promised steep corporate tax cuts for a year, and there was little in the way of US economic data to move markets in any direction as the quarterly earnings season winds down.

The Dow and Nasdaq have soared about 30% since Trump's 2016 election victory on hopes of slashed taxes and regulation. But Phil Davis of PSW investments told AFP the prospect of delayed tax cuts had taken much of the wind out of Wall Street's sails.

“A lot of the rally is priced on the full expectations of these companies to pay less taxes and earn more money,” he said. “If the tax cut is delayed until next year I would expect a five percent correction.”

In London the benchmark FTSE 100 index fell 0.7% on the day.

A stronger pound tends to weigh on the share price of exporters, and “a fall in the (UK) trade deficit and improvement in manufacturing and industrial production has helped to lift the pound,” noted Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG trading group.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 lost 0.4% and the Paris CAC 40 shed 0.5%, extending sharp declines Thursday of up to 1.5%.

In commodities trading, oil prices were up amid growing tensions in the Middle East, after Saudi Arabia accused Iran of “direct military aggression” over a missile attack near Riyadh by Tehran-backed Yemeni rebels.

Key figures around 2200 GMT

New York – DOW: DOWN 0.2% at 23,422.21 (close)

New York – S&P 500: FLAT at 2,582.3 (close)

New York – Nasdaq: FLAT at 6,750.94 (close)

London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.7% at 7,43.99 points (close)

Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.4% at 13,127.47 (close)

Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.5% at 5,380.72 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.5% at 3,593.76 (close)

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.8% at 22,681.42 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 0.1% at 29,120.92 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.1% at 3,432.67 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1667 from $1.1642

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3190 from $1.3145

Dollar/yen: UP at 113.50 yen from 113.42 yen

Oil – Brent North Sea: DOWN 26 cents at $63.52 per barrel

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 43 cents at $56.74

BMW loses appeal of US$158m fine by Swiss competition watchdog

GENEVA: BMW will have to pay a US$158 million fine that Swiss competition authorities imposed on the German automaker five years ago after Switzerland's top court said Friday that it had rejected its appeal.

“The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland has rejected the appeal by the company Bayerische Motoren Werke AG … related to the fine of around 157 million francs imposed in 2012,” or US$158 million (RM661.47 million) at current exchange rates, the court said.

The Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) claimed that since 2003 the German automaker had prevented Swiss nationals from buying its BMW and Mini cars abroad.

A clause in the contracts of BMW dealers operating in the European Economic Area (EEA) prohibited sales to clients from countries outside the bloc, making it hard for individuals to import the cars to Switzerland, COMCO said at the time.

During the period of the alleged practice, the Swiss franc had strengthened significantly against the euro, making purchases in the eurozone more advantageous.

COMCO said BMW's actions amounted to an arrangement to divvy up geographical markets, a violation of Swiss anti-cartel laws.

The carmaker had denied any wrongdoing and first appealed the fine to the Swiss Federal Administrative Court, which rejected the appeal in 2015.

It then lodged an appeal with Switzerland's highest court, which rejected the attempt in a decision handed down last month, and made public on Friday. — AFP

Bitcoin slides by over US$1,000 in less than 48 hours

LONDON, Nov 11 ― Bitcoin dropped below US$7,000 (RM29,341) yesterday to trade more than US$1,000 down from an all-time high hit on Wednesday, as some traders dumped it for a clone called Bitcoin Cash, sending its value up around a third….

China’s 24-hour online shopping binge nears US$16b (VIDEO)

SHANGHAI, Nov 11 ― Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba saw its Singles’ Day sales hit US$16 billion (RM67 billion) by mid-morning today after racing to a billion dollars in just two minutes after the world’s biggest shopping spree opened at…

China’s 24-hour online shopping binge nears US$16b

SHANGHAI, Nov 11 ― Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba saw its Singles’ Day sales hit US$16 billion (RM67 billion) by mid-morning today after racing to a billion dollars in just two minutes after the world’s biggest shopping spree opened at…