Money briefs: Japan's MUFG expects 11% fall in profit

Japan's MUFG expects 11% fall in profit

TOKYO • Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) sees full-year profit falling 11 per cent as negative interest rates squeeze loan profitability and bad-loan costs increase.

Japan's largest bank is targeting net income of 850 billion yen (S$10.7 billion) in the year ending March 2017, it said in a statement yesterday. Profit fell 8 per cent to 951.4 billion yen last fiscal year, said Tokyo-based MUFG, which also announced plans to buy back shares. MUFG's outlook is also hampered by the risk of soured loans to the energy sector even as oil prices recover from a two-year rout.

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Thai economy expands more than expected in Q1

BANGKOK • Thailand's economy grew more than analysts estimated in the first quarter as the military government's spending helped counter weak local demand and exports.

Gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 3.2 per cent in the three months through March from a year earlier, the National Economic and Social Development Board said yesterday. The GDP grew 0.9 per cent from the previous three months, compared with 0.6 per cent median estimate.

The Bank of Thailand last week left its benchmark interest rate unchanged for an eighth straight meeting to help support the economy.

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Didi Chuxing planning New York IPO next year

BEIJING • Chinese car-hailing service Didi Chuxing is targeting an initial public offering (IPO) in New York next year, according to sources. The timing will depend on how its battle with Uber Technologies in China plays out, they said.

Such a move may put the Chinese app ahead of its United States rival in going public, with Uber having said it wants to hold off as long as possible.

China's biggest ride-hailing app is in the process of raising about US$3 billion (S$4.1 billion) of funding, including Apple's US$1 billion contribution, which has swelled the company's valuation to about US$26 billion.

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Pfizer to buy eczema drugmaker for $7b

LONDON • Pfizer agreed to acquire Anacor Pharmaceuticals in a transaction valued at US$5.2 billion (S$7.1 billion) to gain control of an experimental treatment for eczema. Pfizer will pay US$99.25 in cash for each Anacor share, the companies said in a statement. The transaction, which represents about a 55 per cent premium on last Friday's closing price, is scheduled to be completed in the third quarter.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 17, 2016, with the headline 'Money Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe