Company news in brief

21 December 2021 | Business

StanChart fined for misreporting liquidity position

The Bank of England said yesterday it was fining Standard Chartered 46.55 million pounds (US$61.51 million) for misreporting its liquidity position to the regulator and for failings in its controls.

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) said the fine related to reporting errors Standard Chartered made between March 2018 and May 2019 when it was subject to an "additional liquidity expectation" due to concerns about US dollar liquidity outflows.

The fine is the highest ever imposed by the PRA in a case where it was the sole enforcer, the watchdog said in a statement.

"We expect firms to notify us promptly of any material issues with their regulatory reporting, which Standard Chartered failed to do in this case," said Sam Woods, the PRA's chief executive.

"Standard Chartered's systems, controls and oversight fell significantly below the standards we expect of a systemically important bank," he added.

Standard Chartered did not immediately respond to a request for comment. - Reuters

Toyota to build record 800 000 vehicles

Toyota Motor Co said it planned to build 800 000 vehicles globally in January, a record for the month, as it ramps up production to make up for output lost to parts shortages.

"We will continue to maintain our production forecast of the 9 million unit level" for the year to March 31, the company said in a press release.

The production plan for January represents an increase of 60 000 vehicles from a year earlier.

The world's largest automaker by volume has been affected by a shortage of parts supplied by COVID-19 hit factories in Malaysia and Vietnam.

The company last week said those shortages are forcing it to halt some manufacturing in Japan in December, resulting in lost production of 14 000 cars for the month. - Reuters

CNN closes US offices as Covid cases spike

CNN is closing its offices in the United States to all nonessential employees as COVID-19 cases increase, the network said on Saturday in an internal memo to staff seen by Reuters.

CNN, part of AT&T Inc's WarnerMedia division, will close its offices to all employees who do not have work in the office, the memo said.

"We are doing this out of an abundance of caution," CNN president Jeff Zucker said in the memo. "And it will also protect those who will be in the office by minimizing the number of people who are there."

Employees who need to come to the office will be required to wear a mask at all times, CNN said.

CNN requires all employees to be vaccinated against the Covid-19 to come to office or to work on field with other employees.

In August, the company terminated three of its workers for coming to the office unvaccinated. - Reuters

Adidas launches new share buyback

Adidas plans to buy back up to 4 billion euro (US$4.54 billion) of its shares by 2025 and will also return the majority of the cash proceeds from the sale of Reebok.

The German sportswear company said it will cancel most of the shares repurchased during the programme, which would reduce the number of shares as well as share capital accordingly.

The buyback will start in January 2022 and run until 2025, it said.

The move is part of plans announced by Adidas earlier this year to return up to 9 billion euro to its shareholders in the next five years, through dividend payouts of between 30% and 50% of net income from continuing operations along with share buybacks.

"Over the next couple of years, our business will generate significantly more cash than ever before," chief financial officer Harm Ohlmeyer said in a statement.

The company will also pass on to shareholders the majority of the cash proceeds from the divesture of US subsidiary Reebok, which it expects to be finished in the first quarter of 2022, it said. – Reuters

BNP Paribas sells US unit Bank of the West

French lending giant BNP Paribas said yesterday it had sold its US retail and commercial banking arm Bank of the West for US$16.3 billion in cash.

BNP Paribas said in a statement that the sale to Canada's Bank of Montreal, at a price equivalent to 14.5 billion euro, "is expected to formally close during the course of 2022" - subject to clearing regulatory approval and other hurdles.

"This is a value-accretive transaction for all sides, which emphasises the quality of Bank of the West franchise," BNP chief executive Jean-Laurent Bonnafe said.

The French lender said the US arm had accounted for around five percent of its group-wide pre-tax earnings of between 12 and 14 billion euro in recent years.

BNP said that it would distribute some of the proceeds of the sale to investors on completion, planning a four-billion-euro share buyout "to compensate the expected dilution of the earnings per share" at the group.

The remaining proceeds would go into investments aimed at expanding the bank's business elsewhere, "in particular in Europe", it added. – Nampa/AFP

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