1.META:Britain’s competition regulator said on Friday it had fined Facebook-owner Meta 1.5 million pounds ($2 million) over fresh issues regarding its purchase of Giphy, a sanction that the U.S. firm said it would accept.
Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has taken a tough line with major tech groups in recent years, investigating their dominance of markets such as digital advertising and seeking to block the Facebook-Giphy deal.
The CMA ordered Meta to sell animated images platform Giphy, which it acquired for a reported $400 million in May 2020, after it decided the remedies offered by the U.S. company did not answer its concerns over the impact to digital advertising.
It said on Friday that Meta had failed to comply with certain aspects of its requirements in regard to the handling of Giphy, with the U.S. firm failing to notify the UK regulator that key staff had left Meta.
The CMA described this as a “serious and particularly flagrant nature of Meta’s failure to comply” with rules it set to make sure the two firms were still competing with each other, and do not integrate, while the regulator investigated the deal.
Friday’s announcement marks a new deterioration in relations between the U.S. tech giant and the UK regulator.
The CMA fined Facebook 50.5 million pounds over other breaches in October last year, and ordered Meta to sell Giphy. Meta is appealing the ruling to sell. It said on Friday it did not agree with the CMA’s latest fine but would pay it.
2.Carlsberg:–Carlsberg plans to raise beer prices to offset rising raw material costs, potentially hitting beer sales this year, the Danish brewer said on Friday.
The world’s third-largest brewer reported better than forecast fourth-quarter sales on Friday but said it expects organic growth in operating profit this year to fall short of last year’s level.
“The significantly higher input costs and continued impact from COVID-19 will pose challenges in 2022,” Chief Executive Cees ‘t Hart said.
Costs per hectolitre rose by 10-12% last year, driven by higher commodity and transportation prices, he said, adding that the company aims to offset the increased costs by raising prices, though this could have “a negative impact on beer consumption”.
Carlsberg expects organic operating profit to grow by 0-7% in 2022, compared with 12.5% last year.
“We’re looking into a different situation this year, and therefore we have a relatively broad range on our financial guidance,” the CEO said.
The company had said on Thursday that it would look for growth beyond its core beer market over the next five years to focus on categories such as cider, seltzers and alcohol-free beer, as well as premium brands such as 1665 Blanc and Grimbergen, which it says generate higher profit margins.
3.EVERGRANDE:- China Evergrande Group will continue with efforts to sell a plot of undeveloped land in Hong Kong even after the appointment of a receiver by a creditor, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.
The appointment of a receiver will also not have any bearing on the group’s restructuring process, said the person.
U.S. asset manager Oaktree Capital Management, a lender to Evergrande to develop a vast land plot in the rural Yuen Long district, has sought to seize control of the asset by appointing a receiver, a separate person said last month.
Oaktree’s move came after Evergrande, the world’s most indebted property developer with more than $300 billion in debt, defaulted on a secured loan, said the first person, declining to be identified as he was not authorised to speak to the media.
The person said that the asset was likely to be sold in the “relative near term”, and that Oaktree would be repaid after the sale was completed, and any residual proceeds would be recovered by Evergrande.
The Financial Times reported on Jan. 28 that Oaktree also took control of a residential development project of Evergrande in Shanghai after the developer defaulted on a secured loan provided by the asset manager late last year.
The person said that no other international creditor of Evergrande had taken similar actions.
4.TOSHIBA:Toshiba Corp could choose to split in two instead of three, Japanese broadcaster TV Tokyo reported on Friday.
The Japanese conglomerate is also considering selling multiple units to save costs ahead of the break-up, it said.
5.CREDIT SUISSE :– Credit Suisse has signed a deal with Barclays to take on rich clients in parts of Africa after it decided to exit wealth management in nine countries, the Swiss bank said on Friday, confirming an earlier Bloomberg report.
“Credit Suisse has signed a private banking client referral agreement with Barclays as part of the plan to exit nine non-core wealth management markets primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa – as announced in November 2021 as part of the bank’s Group Strategy Review,” the bank said in a statement to Reuters.
The assets under management total around $2.5 billion, the Bloomberg report said.
Botswana, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, the Seychelles, Tanzania and Zambia are the countries affected, according to the report.
The financial terms of the deal between the Credit Suisse and Barclays would depend on how many clients transferred their assets, the report added, citing people familiar with the matter.