Daimler delivers its first all-electric trucks in Europe

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, Germany (AFP) — German carmaker Daimler on Thursday delivered its first fully electric lorries to companies in Europe, as the global race to mass produce the first generation of “green trucks” heats up. Among the first customers for Daimler’s Fuso eCanter light-weight truck was express delivery service DHL, which said it would use its six vehicles to navigate Berlin’s inner city traffic. The keys to eight other eCanter trucks were handed over […]

Japanese business confidence hits 11-year high: survey

TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Confidence among Japan’s biggest manufacturers is at an 11-year high, a key central bank survey showed Friday, as the world’s number-three economy picks up pace. The Bank of Japan’s Tankan report — a quarterly survey of more than 10,000 companies — showed a reading of 25 among major manufacturers in its December survey, the highest since its December 2006 poll. The report, the broadest indicator of how Japan Inc is faring, […]

Fur flies in Hollywood as Disney goes Fox hunting

by Frankie Taggart and Veronique Dupont Agence France Presse LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — The Walt Disney Co. acquisition of a large chunk of 21st Century Fox is expected to reshape the filmmaking landscape, uniting two of the “big six” Hollywood studios under one umbrella for the first time. Disney agreed Thursday to buy key film and television assets from Fox in a $52.4 billion deal set to step up its challenge to Netflix […]

Commonwealth Bank admits anti-money laundering breaches

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Australia’s biggest bank, the Commonwealth, has admitted more than 50,000 breaches of anti-money laundering laws, but said it will defend a host of others claims brought against it. The lender, the country’s largest company by market capitalization, was hit with a civil case by Australia’s financial intelligence agency AUSTRAC in August. AUSTRAC alleged the bank engaged in “serious and systemic non-compliance” of anti-money laundering laws involving thousands of transactions. It prompted […]

PHL’s total trade grows 10.4% in October

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Tuesday that the country’s total trade grew by 10.4 percent in October 2017 from 4.6 percent in the previous month after exports recorded its 11th consecutive month of positive growth. The PSA, an attached agency of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), said exports increased by 6.6 percent to US$5.37 billion — while imports posted a double-digit growth of 13.1 percent to US$8.21 billion. Socio-economic planning secretary […]

In tax shift, Facebook to declare ad revenues locally

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Facebook, in a bow to transparency, has announced its plans to declare certain ad revenues in the country where they are made and not in Ireland, where it has a greater tax advantage. The social networking giant said the move was in response to pressure from governments and policy makers for greater visibility into sales made in their countries. “In simple terms, this means that advertising revenue supported by […]

Google opens AI center in China as competition heats up

BEIJING, China (AFP) — Google announced Wednesday that it will open a new artificial intelligence research center in Beijing, tapping China’s talent pool in the promising technology despite the US search giant’s exclusion from the country’s internet. Artificial intelligence, especially machine learning, has been an area of intense focus for American tech stalwarts Google, Microsoft and Facebook, and their Chinese competitors Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu as they bid to master what many consider is the […]

Tokyo stocks open flat ahead of Fed decision

TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Tokyo stocks opened flat Wednesday as investors fled to the sidelines ahead of a rate announcement by the US Federal Reserve, while Toshiba edged up after it settled a dispute with its US partner. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index inched down 0.57 points to 22,865.60, while the broader Topix index was up 0.10 percent, or 1.89 points, at 1,816.97. Wednesday’s Tokyo trade “lacks a clear sense of direction” ahead of the […]

RCBC accuses Bangladesh’s central bank of a “massive cover-up” over $81-million cyber-heist last year

The Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. on Tuesday accused Bangladesh’s Central Bank (BB) of a “massive cover-up” over an $81-million cyber-heist last year, as it rejected allegations it was mostly to blame. The statement came after Dhaka, Bangladesh’s Finance Minister A.M.A Muhith said over the weekend he wanted to “wipe out” RCBC, apparently frustrated over the small amount of money recovered from the overall amount stolen from BB. “Last year’s theft of $81 million of (BB) funds was […]

ANZ Bank sells life insurance arm to Zurich for US$2.14 billion

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — ANZ Bank unveiled plans Tuesday to offload its life insurance arm to Zurich for Aus$2.85 billion (US$2.14 billion), making the Swiss giant Australia’s largest retail life insurer by premiums. It follows National Australia Bank selling most of its life insurance business to Japan’s Nippon and Commonwealth Bank shedding its insurance arm to AIA in recent years as Australia’s top lenders streamline operations. ANZ said the sale of One Path Life Australia […]

Bitcoin rises in debut as SEC warns on digital money

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Bitcoin experienced some big swings but finished higher in its debut on a major exchange Monday, while a leading US securities regulator warned investors about the risks of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin futures for January delivery finished at $18,850.00 near 2115 GMT on its first full day of trading, a bit below session peaks but soaring well past the $15,000 initial price when Cboe launched the platform on Sunday night. The […]

Blowing bubbles: Boom and bust from bulbs to bitcoin

by Richard CARTER Agence France-Presse TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Virtual currency Bitcoin — or “digital gold” to its fans — has enjoyed a gravity-defying rise along with wild price swings, sparking fears it could be the latest financial market “bubble.” Bitcoin was worth just a few US cents when it began life in 2009 and last week changed hands for a staggering $17,000 despite having no central bank backing and no legal exchange rate. Here […]