Financial News from AFP

  • Credit Suisse bounces back into profit AFP - 10 hours ago
    Credit Suisse bounces back into profit

    Credit Suisse bounced back into profit in the second quarter, earning 170 million Swiss francs ($172 million, 156 million euros), as it reported making progress on a major restructuring programme. Plunging client activity and difficult market conditions as well as writeoffs pushed Switzerland's second largest bank into a net loss of 302 million Swiss francs in the first quarter.

  • Brazil fines Facebook $11.6 mn over WhatsApp standoff AFP - 11 hours ago
    Brazil fines Facebook $11.6 mn over WhatsApp standoff

    A judge in Brazil slapped an $11.6 million fine on the local Facebook branch over the company's refusal to surrender data from its WhatsApp messenger program to a police investigation. The order came from a judge in the northern state of Amazonas, saying Facebook was failing to meet its legal obligations. Facebook Brasil has "shown tremendous disregard for Brazilian institutions," prosecutors added.

  • Renault cuts CEO Ghosn's pay after shareholder revolt AFP - 14 hours ago
    Renault cuts CEO Ghosn's pay after shareholder revolt

    French carmaker Renault said it would cut chief executive Carlos Ghosn's pay after a spat with shareholders that saw the government threaten to change the law. The company will cut the variable part of Ghosn's salary by 20 percent, change how it is calculated and cap it at 180 percent of his fixed salary. The council said the CEO's pay packet was "consistent" with his peers in the industry and pointed to Renault's strong results last year, when earnings rose almost 50 percent.

  • Smartphone sales drive Samsung Q2 profit AFP - 15 hours ago
    Smartphone sales drive Samsung Q2 profit

    Solid sales of its flagship smartphone and an aggressive cost-cutting drive saw Samsung Electronics on Thursday post a better-than-expected gain in net profit for the second quarter. The giant South Korean conglomerate said its key mobile division enjoyed "substantial earnings improvement" in the April-June period led by expanded sales of its high-end Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge phones. Industry trackers estimate that the world's largest smartphone maker has sold about 26 million units of the S7 since it hit stores in March ahead of launches by competitors, including arch-rival Apple.

  • Samsung posts 1.7 pct rise in Q2 net profit AFP - 16 hours ago
    Samsung posts 1.7 pct rise in Q2 net profit

    Strong sales of its flagship smartphone and an aggressive cost-cutting drive saw Samsung Electronics post a 1.7 percent year-on-year gain in net profit to $5.2 billion in the second quarter. The giant South Korean conglomerate said Thursday its key mobile division enjoyed "substantial earnings improvement" led by expanded sales of its high-end Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge phones. Industry trackers estimate that the world's largest smartphone maker has sold about 26 million units of the S7 since it hit stores in March ahead of new launches by competitors, including arch-rival Apple.

  • Lack of exercise runs up $67.5 bn annual health tab, study finds AFP - 17 hours ago
    Lack of exercise runs up $67.5 bn annual health tab, study finds

    Health problems caused by a lack of daily physical exercise cost the world some $67.5 billion (61 billion euros) in 2013 -- more than many countries' GDP, researchers said Thursday. The total was divided between $53.8 billion in healthcare spending and $13.7 billion in lost productivity, according to a study published in The Lancet medical journal.

  • Global stocks mostly up on Tokyo stimulus AFP - 18 hours ago
    Global stocks mostly up on Tokyo stimulus

    Global stocks mostly rose Wednesday as Tokyo launched a massive fiscal stimulus package and the US Federal Reserve kept interest rates low. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled the 28 trillion yen ($266 ...

  • Apple says one billion iPhones have been sold AFP - 18 hours ago
    Apple says one billion iPhones have been sold

    Apple announced Wednesday the sale of its billionth iPhone, a milestone for the company as it seeks to keep momentum in a competitive smartphone market. "IPhone has become one of the most important, world-changing and successful products in history," he said in a statement. IPhone is truly an essential part of our daily life and enables much of what we do throughout the day.

  • Huge quarter for Facebook lifts shares AFP - 18 hours ago
    Huge quarter for Facebook lifts shares

    Facebook on Wednesday reported a huge quarterly profit jump fueled by strong growth in revenues and its global user base, powering shares higher for the top social network. Net profit leapt 186 percent from a year ago to $2.05 billion in the second quarter, as Facebook blew past most analyst forecasts. With its global base of monthly active users growing to 1.7 billion, Facebook saw a 59 percent jump in total revenues to $6.4 billion, mostly from online advertising.

  • Facebook quarterly profit surges 186% to $2 bn AFP - 19 hours ago
    Facebook quarterly profit surges 186% to $2 bn

    Facebook said Wednesday its profit leapt 186 percent from a year ago to $2 billion, as the world's biggest social network blasted past most analyst forecasts for the second quarter. With its global base of monthly active users growing to 1.7 billion, Facebook saw a 59 percent jump in total revenues to $6.4 billion, mostly from online advertising. Facebook shares jumped nearly seven percent in after-hours trade on the stronger-than-expected results.

  • Fed leaves rates unchanged but says US economy improving AFP - 20 hours ago
    Fed leaves rates unchanged but says US economy improving

    The Federal Reserve left key interest rates untouched Wednesday but acknowledged improved economic performance, suggesting a rate increase may still be on the horizon in 2016. Putting behind the surprise sharp downturn in job creation in May that had raised worries about the economy, the Federal Open Market Committee, which sets the monetary policy, said employment and economic growth had grown moderately since their mid-June meeting. "Near-term risks to the economic outlook have diminished," the FOMC said in announcing the outcome of the closely watched two-day meeting in Washington.

  • Nice attack further hits air bookings to France: study AFP - 21 hours ago
    Nice attack further hits air bookings to France: study

    Air travel bookings to France have fallen by a fifth for August and September following the deadly jihadist attack in Nice, a specialist in traveller data said Wednesday. For Nice alone, air bookings from abroad have slumped 19 percent after the Bastille Day attack.

  • Fed keeps rate unchanged, sees stronger growth AFP - 22 hours ago
    Fed keeps rate unchanged, sees stronger growth

    The US Federal Reserve on Wednesday left its key interest rate unchanged at 0.25-0.5 percent as widely expected. However, in a sign that rate increases may still be looming this year, policy makers said ...

  • SABMiller pauses integration with AB InBev: reports AFP - 22 hours ago
    SABMiller pauses integration with AB InBev: reports

    SABMiller has paused integration work with brewing giant AB InBev, according to media reports on Wednesday, after AB InBev raised its takeover offer due to the plunge in the pound after the Brexit vote. London-based SABMiller has asked its employees to halt work on integrating finance, technology, procurement and some supply-chain functions, according to reports in Bloomberg News and the Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal said the decision was taken "following AB InBev's announcement that its revised offer for SABMiller was final" on Tuesday.

  • Boeing shares rise despite 1st quarterly loss since 2009 AFP - 23 hours ago
    Boeing shares rise despite 1st quarterly loss since 2009

    Boeing reported its first quarterly loss in nearly seven years Wednesday, but its shares jumped as it confirmed its target for 2016 plane deliveries, saying the commercial aircraft market remains strong. Boeing made $1.1 billion in the year-ago period. "The underlying operating performance of the company remains solid, with our commercial and defense teams again delivering strong revenues and operating cash flow," said Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg.

  • Global stocks jump on Tokyo stimulus, UK growth AFP - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 4:19 PM AEST
    Global stocks jump on Tokyo stimulus, UK growth

    Global shares mostly rallied Wednesday after Tokyo launched a massive stimulus package, with sentiment also cheered by accelerating economic growth in Britain and upbeat company results. Awaiting the US ...

  • WTO head says won't take Trump pullout bait AFP - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 3:28 PM AEST
    WTO head says won't take Trump pullout bait

    The head of the World Trade Organization said on Wednesday he would not get involved in a slanging match with Donald Trump after the US presidential candidate suggested withdrawing from the WTO. Trump, having earlier threatened to renegotiate or rip up the North American Free Trade Agreement, told NBC on Sunday that if he takes the White House he might "renegotiate or pull out" of trade deals if the WTO challenges his policies. Republican Trump added that "These trade deals are a disaster ... (the) World Trade Organization is a disaster," insisting he would not let the WTO override his plans to impose punitive taxes on firms which shift production offshore.

  • Weak profits may prod Deutsche Bank to speed up restructuring AFP - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 3:06 PM AEST
    Weak profits may prod Deutsche Bank to speed up restructuring

    Deutsche Bank acknowledged on Wednesday that it may be forced to push its restructuring faster, as it booked a 98-percent fall in profits in the second quarter. "If the current weak economic environment persists, we will need to be yet more ambitious in the timing and intensity of our restructuring," chief executive John Cryan said in a statement released with the results. Cryan is battling to convince markets and regulators that Deutsche is on course for recovery after it was described as a "major systemic risk" by the International Monetary Fund in June.

  • EU abandons budget fines against Spain, Portugal AFP - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 3:01 PM AEST
    EU abandons budget fines against Spain, Portugal

    The European Commission on Wednesday backed away from slapping fines on Spain and Portugal for running high deficits, avoiding what would have been a landmark move to impose tough budget rules. "Sanctions, even symbolic ones, would not have been understood by the public," the EU's economic affairs commissioner, Pierre Moscovici, said at a news briefing. The issue is especially sensitive for France, which is in danger of missing the EU's budget deficit limit of 3.0 percent of annual GDP next year.

  • Balancing act expected as divided Fed reviews US economy AFP - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 2:35 PM AEST
    Balancing act expected as divided Fed reviews US economy

    The Federal Reserve was not expected to change key interest rates on Wednesday at the conclusion of a closely watched two-day meeting on monetary policy. The Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed's policy board, has over the last eight months been Janus-faced and ambivalent, alternately seeing both strength and weakness in the assortment of economic indicators it reviews at each of its meetings. "I don't think they're going to raise rates at all this year," said Joseph Gagnon, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

  • US durable goods orders tumble in June AFP - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 1:59 PM AEST
    US durable goods orders tumble in June

    US durable goods orders fell for a second straight month in June, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday, hit by weaker aircraft sales but also slumping sales of electronics and machinery. Orders of durable goods -- long-lasting manufactured goods -- dropped 4.0 percent to $219.8 billion, following a 2.8 percent decrease in May. The two-month fall left durable goods orders flat for the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2015, a sign of the growth slowdown in international markets and the dampening effect on exports of the strong dollar, economists say.

  • 11 jailed in Spain stamp scam, one of country's 'biggest frauds' AFP - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 1:15 PM AEST
    11 jailed in Spain stamp scam, one of country's 'biggest frauds'

    Spain's top criminal court said Wednesday it had sentenced 11 former executives of stamp firm Afinsa to up to 12 years in jail for their role in a vast scam that ruined thousands of savers. The Madrid-based Audiencia Nacional also ordered six of the accused to pay 2.57 billion euros ($2.8 billion) in compensation for the losses incurred by investors -- including former Afinsa president Juan Antonio Cano, who was sentenced to 12 years and ten months in prison.

  • Fiat Chrysler profit shifts higher AFP - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 1:00 PM AEST
    Fiat Chrysler profit shifts higher

    Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said Wednesday its second quarter net profit rose by a quarter thanks to better operating performance in its main markets and a jump in Jeep sales. Fiat said the increase in net profit was "driven by strong operating performance" in its key North American and European markets as well by its components unit. FCA continued to benefit from the launch of its new Jeep Renegade model, with Fiat's worldwide Jeep sales up 16 percent.

  • UK drugs giant GSK invests £275 mn despite Brexit AFP - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 12:18 PM AEST
    UK drugs giant GSK invests £275 mn despite Brexit

    The investment -- worth $361 million or 328 million euros -- will be ploughed into facilities in Barnard Castle in northeastern England, Ware in the southeast, and Montrose in Scotland, GSK said in a statement. GSK, which already employs 6,000 staff across its nine manufacturing plants in Britain, also noted that the investment would provide new job opportunities. "Today's announcement reflects further investment to support our pharmaceutical pipeline and meet growing demand for our innovative portfolio of newly launched products," said chief executive Andrew Witty, who had backed the unsuccessful 'Remain' campaign in Britain's June 23 EU membership vote.

  • Boeing reports $234 million loss after unexpected costs  AFP - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 12:17 PM AEST
    Boeing reports $234 million loss after unexpected costs 

    Boeing reported a second-quarter loss Wednesday due to elevated costs for an Air Force contract and for commercial air production as it confirmed its full-year plane deliveries targets. The US aerospace ...

  • Coca-Cola dogged by falling international sales AFP - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 12:12 PM AEST
    Coca-Cola dogged by falling international sales

    The sluggish global economy, more and healthier competition, and currency market turbulence again dragged on Coca-Cola Co.'s earnings in the second quarter, the company said Wednesday. Net earnings rose 10.9 percent and core earnings per share beat expectations by two cents at 60 cents. Sales of concentrate and cases were flat in volume terms, with the company saying slowdowns in emerging markets such as China and Argentina offset gains in the United States, Mexico and Japan.

  • European stocks jump on Tokyo stimulus, UK growth AFP - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 11:38 AM AEST
    European stocks jump on Tokyo stimulus, UK growth

    European and Japanese shares rallied Wednesday after Tokyo launched a massive stimulus package, with sentiment buoyed also by accelerating British economic growth and upbeat company results. Traders were ...

  • Britain says 'in position of economic strength' for Brexit talks AFP - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 10:52 AM AEST
    Britain says 'in position of economic strength' for Brexit talks

    Britain will enter EU exit talks in a strong position, finance minister Philip Hammond declared Wednesday, after data revealed economic growth unexpectedly accelerated in the run-up to the Brexit referendum. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew 0.6 percent in the second quarter, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a first estimate for April-June, which included the shock EU exit vote towards the end of the period.

  • Japan PM unveils $266 bn stimulus plan to boost economy AFP - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 10:41 AM AEST
    Japan PM unveils $266 bn stimulus plan to boost economy

    Japan's government Wednesday announced a stimulus package worth more than 28 trillion yen ($266 billion) in its latest attempt to fire up the lukewarm economy, with the central bank expected to unveil its own measures this week. Policymakers are under pressure to boost growth as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's 'Abenomics' plan to kickstart the world's number three economy comes under threat from poor data and sagging business confidence. Abe confirmed the new plan Wednesday but gave few details, except to say about half the total would be fiscal measures including government spending.

  • Ireland cuts growth forecast after Brexit vote AFP - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 10:11 AM AEST
    Ireland cuts growth forecast after Brexit vote

    Ireland's central bank on Wednesday cut its growth forecasts for 2016 and 2017 because of Britain's vote to leave the European Union but said the full impact would depend on the details of any Britain-EU deal. "The close relationship between the Irish and UK economies creates a particular exposure for the Irish economy from Brexit," the bank said in a quarterly bulletin -- its first since a momentous June 23 referendum in which Britain opted for Brexit. "Both in the short-term and in the longer-term, the economic impact of Brexit on Ireland is set to be negative and material," the central bank said.

  • Pharma lends Bayer wings as oil prices maul BASF AFP - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 9:36 AM AEST
    Pharma lends Bayer wings as oil prices maul BASF

    Germany's chemicals giants showed sharply differing results on Wednesday, with Bayer enjoying strong growth on pharmaceuticals while oil blackened BASF's outlook. Chemicals and pharmaceuticals powerhouse Bayer upped its growth forecasts for the year after a strong second quarter saw profits surge by 19 percent. Bayer's strength stood in stark contrast to BASF, whose second-quarter net profits slid 14 percent to 1.09 billion euros.

  • British economy picks up speed in second quarter AFP - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 9:23 AM AEST
    British economy picks up speed in second quarter

    Britain's economic growth unexpectedly accelerated in the second quarter in the run-up to the nation's shock EU exit referendum, official data showed Wednesday. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew 0.6 percent, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a first estimate for April-June, which included the shock EU exit referendum towards the end of the period. Chancellor of the Exchequer Hammond added Britain was in a strong position to negotiate its departure from the European Union, after Britons voted on June 23 in favour of Brexit.

  • Japan PM unveils more than $266 bn stimulus AFP - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 9:01 AM AEST
    Japan PM unveils more than $266 bn stimulus

    Japan's government Wednesday announced a stimulus package worth more than 28 trillion yen ($266 billion) in its latest attempt to fire up the lukewarm economy, with the central bank expected to unveil its own measures this week. Policymakers are under pressure to boost growth as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's 'Abenomics' plan to kickstart the world's number three economy comes under threat from poor data and sagging business confidence. Abe confirmed the new plan Wednesday but gave few details, except to say about half the total would be fiscal measures including government spending.

  • British economy grows 0.6% in second quarter: data AFP - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 8:51 AM AEST
    British economy grows 0.6% in second quarter: data

    Britain's economic growth unexpectedly accelerated in the second quarter from the previous three months, official data showed Wednesday. Gross domestic product grew 0.6 percent, the Office for National ...

  • Air France-KLM cuts loss, warns of attacks impact AFP - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 8:50 AM AEST
    Air France-KLM cuts loss, warns of attacks impact

    Air France-KLM said Wednesday it managed to cut its net loss significantly in the first half of this year but warned attacks had reduced the attractiveness of France as a travel destination. "The global context in 2016 remains highly uncertain regarding the geopolitical and economic environment in which we operate," the French-Dutch airline group said in a statement, citing "a special concern about France as a destination". While the airline group even managed a net profit of 41 million euros in the second quarter, it noted a "clear deterioration during the quarter" in revenues, which dropped by 5.2 percent.