Wednesday, April 25th, 2018


EU moves to tackle letter box firms’ tax avoidance, social dumping

BRUSSELS, April 25 — The European Commission proposed new rules to clamp down on firms that relocate within the bloc for the purpose of cutting their tax bills or reducing rights of employees, creditors and minority shareholders, setting up mere…

Twitter momentum grows with second straight profit quarter

WASHINGTON, April 25 — Twitter reported its second consecutive quarterly profit today in a positive sign for the short messaging service after years in the red. The San Francisco-based social network earned US$61 million in the first three months…

US stocks join global selloff on rate-hike fears

NEW YORK, April 25 —Wall Street stocks fell early today, joining a global stock selloff on worries about rising interest rates. The retreat continued the trend from yesterday, when the yield on the US 10-year Treasury hit 3.0 per cent for the…

Boeing shakes off trade-war jitters as cash beats estimates

CHICAGO, April 25 — Boeing Co rose as better-than-expected cash and profit signalled that trade tensions haven’t yet hurt the largest US exporter’s plane-making business. Free cash flow climbed to US$2.74 billion, the company said in a…

Twitter reports second straight quarterly profit

WASHINGTON: Twitter on Wednesday reported its second consecutive quarterly profit in a positive sign for the social network after years in the red.

The San Francisco-based social network earned US$61 million (RM239 million) in the first three months of the year, helped by strong growth in advertising revenue and modest gains in users.

First-quarter revenues rose 21% from a year ago to US$665 million, and the key figure of monthly active users increased by six million from late last year to 336 million.

Shares in Twitter jumped nearly 6% in pre-market trading on the better-than-expected earnings.

Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey said the recent changes made to the service have helped “engagement,” a measure of how often people turn to the social network and how long they stay.

“We grew our audience and engagement … and continued our work to make it easier to follow topics, interests, and events on Twitter,” Dorsey said in the earnings release.

“We also introduced a new framework to think more cohesively about the issues affecting our service, including information quality and safety.”

The move into profitability is an important achievement for Twitter, which has lost money consistently since its public offering, sparking speculation on whether it needed to sell itself to keep operating.

While Twitter has built a solid core base of celebrities, politicians and journalists, it has failed to match the broader appeal of Facebook and other social platforms, hurting its ability to bring in ad revenues.

The network has stepped up efforts to boost its user base and engagement, adding streaming video partnerships, doubling the character limit on tweets to 280 and making it easier to create “tweetstorms” by stringing messaging together. — AFP

One more term for LBS Bina MD as Malaysia-Guangdong chamber chief

KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 — LBS Bina managing director Tan Sri Lim Hock San was re-elected without contest as president of the Malaysia-Guangdong Chamber of Investment Promotion (MGCIP) for another year. Datuk Beh Hang Kong, a director at…

Takeda closes in on US$64b Shire deal to join pharma elite

TOKYO, April 25 — Takeda Pharmaceutical Co reached a preliminary agreement to buy Shire Plc with a sweetened takeover offer of about £46 billion (approx. RM251 billion), closing in on a bold transaction to gain a foothold in one of the pharma…

Sky pulls support for Murdoch bid as Comcast confirms offer

LONDON, April 25 — Sky withdrew its recommendation of Rupert Murdoch’s contested bid for the European pay-TV group after rival Comcast submitted a higher, £22 billion-(US$31 billion) cash offer today. UK-based Sky, with more than 20 million…

Airbus details Franco-German fighter deal with UK role at risk

BERLIN, April 25 — Airbus SE Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders sketched out the company’s plans for the next generation of European fighter aircraft and warned that Brexit means the UK could miss out on future production. Airbus’s German…

Suitors for India’s Fortis revise bids ahead of committee deliberation

BENGALURU: India’s Manipal Hospitals Enterprises Private Ltd raised its offer for rival Fortis Healthcare Ltd for the second time in a month, now valuing Fortis’ hospital business about 4% more than it had earlier.

Several suitors for Fortis revised their offers this week, jostling to make the best bid before an advisory committee, formed by the company, makes its recommendation to the board tomorrow.

Fortis has been the target of five companies and investment groups, who are vying for control of its 30-odd hospitals in India, as the country’s private healthcare market is set to grow sharply.

Fortis said last week it would only consider binding bids.

Manipal’s new offer to buy Fortis’ hospitals is for 63.22 billion rupees (RM3.7 billion), up from the previous proposal of 60.61 billion rupees.

Radiant Life Care Pvt Ltd, backed by private equity firm KKR, also made a binding offer to acquire Fortis’ Mulund Hospital located in India’s business capital Mumbai for an enterprise value of 12 billion rupees, Fortis said on Tuesday.

Radiant had already made a non-binding offer last week to buy more than a quarter of Fortis’ hospital business. Its new offer will provide immediate liquidity of 6.8 billion rupees for cash-strapped Fortis with no equity dilution for shareholders, Radiant said in the letter on Tuesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Bhd revised its bid for Fortis, making a binding proposal for about a fifth of its total offer value.

IHH’s revised offer proposes an immediate infusion of 6.5 billion rupees and asks for the right to appoint two directors to Fortis’ board, it said. The non-binding part of the proposal is for a subsequent infusion of up to 33.5 billion rupees.

A consortium of two prominent Indian business families have also submitted an investment offer for Fortis and China’s Fosun International had offered US$350 million (RM1.4 billion) to buy less than a quarter of Fortis.

On Monday, Fortis said the Hero-Burman consortium had extended the validity period on its offer to May 4. – Reuters