Company news in brief

10 January 2019 | Economics

Congo miner leaves responsible-sourcing scheme

The Democratic Republic of Congo's biggest miner of coltan, an ore containing metals used in mobile phones, is leaving the ITSCI certification scheme relied on as a guarantee that minerals are free from human rights abuses.

Societe Miniere de Bisunzu (SMB) has given 30 days' notice to end its contract with the ITSCI supply chain initiative, its communications director Philippe Stuyck told Reuters, citing the scheme's rising costs.

In emailed statements, SMB later announced it was instead joining another scheme, the Better Sourcing programme, which was implemented by responsible-sourcing group RCS Global.

"The transparency of our supply chain remains our main priority, which is why we are doing everything we can to improve and modernise it," Stuyck said.

Many others in the industry have complained about ITSCI for several reasons, including cost, but have been reluctant to pull out because of concerns they will not be able to sell their minerals without ITSCI certification. ITSCI did not respond to requests for comment. - Nampa/Reuters

Deutsche Bank to cut 2018 bonus pool

Deutsche Bank's management board has decided to cut the lender's 2018 bonus pool by around 10% in an effort to cut costs while retaining talent, Bloomberg reported.

Bloomberg, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter, also reported on Tuesday that bonuses would be paid more selectively. The pool could change, depending on fourth-quarter earnings figures, the report said. A spokesman for Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

Germany's largest lender paid bonuses worth 2.3 billion euro (US$2.63 billion) for 2017, four times higher than the previous year, the bank said in its annual report.

Its top managers went without bonus payments for 2017 after the bank lost 735 million euro, the third annual loss in a row.

Deutsche Bank, which is expected to turn a profit for 2018, has vowed to pay competitive bonuses in an effort to keep staff from moving to rival firms. - Nampa/Reuters



Boeing delivers record 806 aircraft in 2018

Boeing Co delivered a record 806 aircraft in 2018 to retain the title of the world's biggest aeroplane maker for the seventh straight year, but missed its full-year target of 810-815 due to supplier woes that delayed shipments.

European rival Airbus SE, which will report its numbers later this week, met its own 800-jet target pending a final audit, but is certain to lag behind Boeing due to engine delays, industry sources said earlier.

Investors and analysts closely watch the number of planes Boeing turns over to airlines and leasing firms for hints on the company's cash flow and revenue.

Boeing also looked set to beat Airbus for aircraft orders on a like-for-like basis in 2018 after booking 893 net orders, excluding cancellations in the year.

Meanwhile, Airbus ended November with 380 net orders, to which it has since added confirmed deals for another 220 aircraft. - Nampa/Reuters



BP unlocks a billion oil barrels in Gulf of Mexico

BP said it has discovered two new oilfields in the Gulf of Mexico and has identified an additional billion barrels of oil at an existing field thanks to new seismic technology.

The British company, which has only recently turned the corner following the deadly 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, also announced on Tuesday plans to expand production at its Atlantis oilfield in the Gulf of Mexico, consolidating its status as the largest oil producer in that region.

The company has put a heavy emphasis on technology and data processing capabilities in recent years in order to unlock new resources and cut costs.

The US$1.3 billion Atlantis Phase 3 development will include drilling eight wells and a new sub-sea production system that will boost BP's production by 38 000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed). It is scheduled to start production in 2020.

Together with the new discoveries, BP aims to grow its Gulf of Mexico production from over 300 000 boed at present to 400 000 boed by the mid-2020s. – Nampa/Reuters



Samsung Electronics flags first profit drop in two years

South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Tuesday estimated a 29% drop in quarterly operating profit, its first decline in two years, as it flagged tough memory chip and mobile phone markets in a rare commentary.

Weaker earnings at the world's biggest maker of smartphones and semiconductors adds to worries for investors already on edge after Apple Inc last week took the rare move of lowering its quarterly sales forecast, citing poor iPhone sales in China.

Samsung, in a regulatory filing, estimated profit at 10.8 trillion won (US$9.67 billion) for October-December last year, down 29% from the same period a year earlier. That compared with the 13.2 trillion won average of 26 analyst estimates in an I/B/E/S Refinitiv poll.

It also estimated an 11% on-year revenue decline at 59 trillion won.

The company does not usually explain the details behind its estimates, but on Tuesday issued a background statement along with its fourth-quarter earnings guidance to "ease confusion" among investors as its estimate was far below market forecasts. -Nampa/Reuters

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