Toshiba raises loss forecast to $8.4b
TOKYO • Toshiba said yesterday that it has expanded its full-year loss forecast to an eye-watering US$6 billion (S$8.4 billion) as one of Japan's best-known firms accounts for an embarrassing profit-padding scandal.
The company - a vast conglomerate that makes everything from rice cookers to nuclear plants - also pointed to the global economic slowdown, saying it was taking a big bite out of results across its sectors, including memory chip and computer sales.
Its new loss forecast for the fiscal year to March came as Toshiba said it had lost 479.4 billion yen (S$5.7 billion) in the nine months to December, reversing a profit from a year earlier.
Short-selling in Noble hit record this week
SINGAPORE • Short-selling in Noble Group, which lost about two-thirds of its market value last year amid criticism of its accounting, rose to a record on Monday, Markit Group data shows.
That was after shares rallied 15 per cent on Jan 29, the most in three months. The commodity trader is raising US$750 million (S$1 billion) from the sale of the remaining stake in its agricultural unit in an attempt to bolster liquidity.
Noble Group shares have been bludgeoned as some investors ditched commodity-related companies amid a rout in raw materials, and executives fended off criticism of the group's accounting. The challenges facing chief executive officer Yusuf Alireza deepened this year when Standard & Poor's joined Moody's Investors Service in cutting the company's credit rating to junk.
Fall in HK property transactions last year
HONG KONG • Hong Kong property transactions fell 12 per cent last year, government data yesterday showed, underscoring fears of an economic slowdown in the Asian financial centre even as it faces growing drag from cooling activity in China.
Hong Kong's property prices remain among the highest in the world, although they have eased since September and analysts expect a further drop this year.
Property-related businesses account for nearly a fifth of the city's economic output and are a major component of individual wealth, according to ratings agency Fitch.
The total number of domestic sale and purchase agreements received by the Land Registry last year fell 12.3 per cent to 55,982, according to data from Hong Kong's Rating and Valuation Department. The total consideration for those transactions fell 3.9 per cent to US$417 billion (S$585 billion).