Category: Business & Economy

Ukraine’s farm minister is the latest corruption suspect as Kyiv aims to undo recent Russian gains

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A Ukrainian court on Friday ordered the detention of the country’s farm minister in the latest high-profile corruption investigation, while Kyiv security officials assessed how they can recover lost battlefield momentum in the war against Russia. Ukraine’s High Anti-Corruption Court ruled that Agriculture Minister Oleksandr Solskyi should be held in custody for 60 days, but he…

South Korean police raid office of incoming head of doctors’ group over protracted strikes

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean police said Friday they searched the office of the hard-line incoming leader of an association of doctors and confiscated his mobile phone as he faces accusations that he incited the protracted walkouts by thousands of medical interns and residents. The development could further dim prospects for an early end to the strikes. The…

Google fires more workers who protested its deal with Israel

It’s the latest sign of internal turmoil at the tech giant centered on “Project Nimbus,” a $1.2 billion contract signed in 2021 for Google and Amazon to provide the Israeli government with cloud computing and artificial intelligence services. Workers held sit-in protests last week at Google offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California. The company responded by calling the police,…

Venezuela arrests former Maduro allies in oil corruption probe

Venezuela’s former oil minister Tareck El Aissami, once a powerful confidante of authoritarian president Nicolás Maduro, has been arrested on allegations of corruption, the socialist government announced on Tuesday. Former finance minister Simón Zerpa and Sarmark López, a businessman and associate of El Aissami, were also arrested as part of the probe into alleged corruption at state oil major Petróleos…

EU nations obligated to protect citizens from climate change, human rights court rules

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on Tuesday in favour of a group of elderly Swiss women who had argued that their government’s inadequate efforts to combat climate change put them at risk of dying during heatwaves. The European court’s decision on the case, brought by more than 2,000 women, could have a ripple effect across Europe and…

China investigates senior executive at top defence group, China Electronics Technology

Chinese anti-corruption authorities are investigating a senior executive at one of the country’s top military equipment suppliers, China Electronics Technology Group Corporation, in a new sign of turmoil in the country’s defence establishment. The probe into He Wenzhong, deputy general manager of CETC, a company subject to US sanctions, follows a shake-up of the armed forces last year, when the…

Blackstone nears buyout of beauty giant L’Occitane

  LONDON – Blackstone is nearing a deal to take L’Occitane International private, according to people familiar with the matter, potentially ending the global cosmetics and skincare giant’s 14-year run on Hong Kong’s stock exchange. The private equity firm may team up with L’Occitane’s billionaire owner Reinold Geiger for the buyout, said one of the people. An announcement could come…

Gold retreats as robust US data dampens rate cut expectations

Gold fell on April 8 after closing at a record high last week, as investors weigh a strong US jobs report that saw traders unwinding bets for steep US Federal Reserve rate cuts in 2024. The precious metal fell as much as 1.2 per cent in early Asian hours, pressured by a rise in Treasury yields after US payrolls rose…

Credit Suisse takes fight over $1 billion awarded to billionaire to Singapore’s top court

A unit of defunct lender Credit Suisse will seek to overturn an order to pay US$743 million (S$1 billion) to a billionaire client over the actions of a notorious rogue banker at Singapore’s top court on April 8. The sum was awarded after a lower court earlier ruled that the bank’s trust had failed to safeguard the assets of Bidzina…

Shell, Aramco in final stage of talks to buy Temasek-owned Pavilion Energy

  Shell and Saudi Aramco, which are competing to buy the assets of Temasek-owned liquefied natural gas (LNG) trading firm Pavilion Energy, are now locked in price negotiations after completing the due diligence process, three sources with knowledge of the matter said. The potential sale comes a decade after the Singapore state investment firm set up Pavilion Energy to focus…

Airlines desperate for planes are paying more for older models

Boeing’s latest 737 Max crisis has worsened an airline shortage of popular narrowbody aircraft, sending the cost of used-jet rentals to the highest level in years.  The US planemaker has slowed production of its bestselling model to address quality lapses tied to a near-disaster on a 737 Max 9 in January. With Airbus also struggling to lift output, available planes…

US office vacancy rate nears 20% to set fresh record, Moody’s says

NEW YORK – US office vacancies hit a fresh peak in the first quarter as needs continue to evolve with hybrid work set-ups. Vacancies rose to a record 19.8 per cent, Moody’s Analytics said in a preliminary report on April 1, from 19.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2023. Despite the increase, the firm said that the early…

Swiss banker gets no prison in ‘Singapore Solution’ tax scam

NEW YORK – An executive at a Swiss holding company did not get prison time for participating in a scheme to help US taxpayers hide more than US$60 million (S$81 million) in assets in a fraudulent arrangement known as the “Singapore Solution”. Daniel Walchli, 56, pleaded guilty in 2023 to a single count of conspiracy to defraud the United States…

Citigroup cuts US tech banker jobs during broad reorganisation

NEW YORK – Citigroup implemented a fresh round of job cuts in its US investment bank last week, according to people familiar with the matter, as the financial giant completed a planned restructuring. Technology, media and telecom were among the coverage areas hit hardest at the Wall Street lender, with several senior bankers as well as those in more junior…

Court approves 3M settlement over ‘forever chemicals’ in public drinking water systems

Chemical manufacturer 3M will begin payments starting in the third quarter to many U.S. public drinking water systems as part of a multi-billion-dollar settlement over contamination with potentially harmful compounds used in firefighting foam and several consumer products, the company said. St. Paul, Minnesota-based 3M announced Monday that last year’s lawsuit settlement received final approval from the U.S. District Court…

Oil giants plan to bury massive amounts of CO2

LONDON – Just as they first ventured to do over a century ago, the world’s largest oil companies are staking claims far from home – this time to swallow, rather than spew, planet-warming industrial emissions. Carbon dioxide (CO2) storage is emerging as a potential multi-billion-dollar revenue stream for companies like ExxonMobil, Shell and Chevron, which are under global pressure to…