Ford Motor launches layoff program for Brazil’s Camacari plant

Ford previously said the plant was operating with about 700 excess workers. The plant employs 7,400 people in Camaçari, where it produces the compact Ka and mid-sized EcoSport SUV.

Last Updated : Apr 10, 2019 08:13 AM IST | Source: Reuters

– TFMNews

The Brazilian unit of Ford Motor Company said it was initiating a voluntary layoff program for its plant in Camaçari, in the northeast state of Bahia, with the objective to cut workforce it said was in excess of current needs.

The company in its statement did not say how many people it expected to lay off.

Ford previously said the plant was operating with about 700 excess workers. The plant employs 7,400 people in Camaçari, where it produces the compact Ka and mid-sized EcoSport SUV.

The U.S. automaker said two months ago it would close its oldest plant in Brazil, in São Bernardo do Campo, which could cost more than 2,700 jobs as part of a restructuring meant to end losses around the world.

Referring to the Bahia plant, Ford said: “The measure has the objective to align the plant’s workforce with current market demand.”

Ford sold 24,000 Ka vehicles in Brazil in the first quarter, about the same level as in the previous year. It sold 7,600 EcoSports, more than the 7,000 reported in the first quarter of 2018.

Source MoneyControl

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JSW Steel: JSW Steel raises $500 million via offshore bonds

The company received subscriptions worth $1.75 billion, about four times the quantum of bonds on offer, two people with direct knowledge of the sale told ET.Apr 10, 2019, 11.20 PM ISTAgenciesOn April 4, ET reported that JSW Steel was set to raise $500 million through overseas bonds.MUMBAI: JSW Steel, India’s biggest maker of the alloy,…

The company received subscriptions worth $1.75 billion, about four times the quantum of bonds on offer, two people with direct knowledge of the sale told ET.

On April 4, ET reported that JSW Steel was set to raise $500 million through overseas bonds.

ET | Apr 10, 2019, 11.20 PM IST

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MUMBAI : JSW Steel, India’s biggest maker of the alloy, Wednesday completed raising $500 million by selling dollar bonds, marking a revival in global debt issues by large local companies.

The company received subscriptions worth $1.75 billion, about four times the quantum of bonds on offer, two people with direct knowledge of the sale told ET.

The dollar-denominated bonds, maturing in five years, offered 5.95%.

On April 4, ET reported that JSW Steel was set to raise $500 million through overseas bonds. The company would use the proceeds to expand capacity at its Vijayanagar plant in Karnataka.

Deutsche Bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank, BNP, Citi, JP Morgan and Standard Chartered are among the investment bankers that helped JSW Steel raise the funds.

“Quite frankly, even after the strong re-opening of the international bond markets for Indian high-yield issuers, the response to JSW Steel has been overwhelming,” said Amrish Baliga, MD & Head Financing, Deutsche Bank, one of the lead bankers to the issue.

The order book reflected the quality of this credit instrument, which was well articulated to an international audience, said Baliga.

Fitch and Moody’s rated the steelmaker’s bonds BB and Ba2, respectively, one notch below the investment grade, with stable and positive outlook.

Source ET

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Dalai Lama hospitalised in Delhi due to chest infection

The 83-year-old leader came down here from Dharamshala for the check-up at the Max hospital in Delhi.

Last Updated : Apr 10, 2019 08:45 AM IST | Source: PTI

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Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on April 9 underwent a check-up at a hospital in Delhi after some health complications, hospital sources said.

It was later reported that he had been hospitalised due to a chest infection.

The 83-year-old leader came down here from Dharamshala for the check-up at the Max hospital in Saket, they said.

“Yes, he underwent a check-up at the hospital. He generally visits Max facility for his check-ups,” a source said.

The Dalai Lama was here for the past few days for attending a global learning conference that ended on April 6. He returned to Dharamshala from New Delhi on April 8.

The 14th Dalai Lama had fled to India in early 1959 to escape from the Chinese occupation and lives in exile in the hill town of Dharamshala.

At the event, he had also spoken about his ageing body and reincarnation.

To a question on China’s stand on the next Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader had said, “If I live for another 10-15 years, political situation in China will change. But if I die in the next few years, the Chinese government will show the reincarnation must happen in China.”

China has said the successor to the Dalai Lama must be chosen according to the religious rituals and historical conventions as well as the backing from the ruling Communist Party. The Dalai Lama has been keeping China on tenterhooks about his successor.

Source MoneyControl

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Dubai Islamic Bank in discussion to buy Noor Bank – Bloomberg

Lender Dubai Islamic Bank has had held preliminary discussions which are still at an early stage with smaller rival Noor Bank’s shareholders which may not lead to a deal, Bloomberg said on Sunday.

Reuters | April 7, 2019 10:56 PM

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(Reuters) – United Arab Emirates’ largest sharia-compliant bank Dubai Islamic Bank is in talks to acquire Dubai-based Noor Bank, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the talks.

Lender Dubai Islamic Bank has had held preliminary discussions which are still at an early stage with smaller rival Noor Bank’s shareholders which may not lead to a deal, Bloomberg said on Sunday.

The potential deal comes among a wave of mergers in the Middle East’s financial sector and if completed, would create a lender with $75 billion in assets, Bloomberg added.

Last week, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and First Abu Dhabi Bank denied reports of being in merger talks after a news report said the emirate was considering combining them.

Dubai Islamic Bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment while a spokeswoman for Noor Bank said it does not comment on market speculation.

Reporting by Mekhla Raina in Bengaluru; Editing by Phil Berlowitz

Source

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Gold: Rural gold demand likely to rise this Akshaya Tritiya

In the spot market, gold was trading at Rs 32,000 per 10 gram.

ET Bureau | Apr 11, 2019, 07.59 AM IST

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Kolkata: Gold sales in India’s villages might climb this Akshaya Tritiya as targeted farm welfare programmes are expected to help enhance discretionary spending on the precious metal, traditionally the preferred store of value in the hinterland.

Analysts believe that financial assistance under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi programme should leave farmers with some surplus cash, which might be used to buy gold in the festive season. Rural India’s preferred stores of value are gold and land. “We can expect higher rural demand for gold because of the recent populist measures by the Centre and various state governments, which have boosted farm and rural income,” said Tapan Patel, senior analyst (commodities) at HDFC Securities.

Akshay Tritiya falls on May 7. Rural India buys gold ahead of Akshay Tritiya on receipt of sale proceeds from the wintersown crop. Local gold prices, therefore, usually remain firm in this season.

“Gold prices could go up depending on the movement of US interest rates and the overall condition of the US economy…. Gold is likely to be priced about $1,300-1,320 per troy ounce in the short term,” said Shekhar Bhandari, senior vicepresident and business head (global transaction banking and precious metals), Kotak Mahindra Bank.

“Also, domestic gold price depends on the level of the rupee. Keeping all these factors in mind, gold may either become dearer or cheaper by Rs 500 per 10 gm.”

In the spot market, gold was trading at Rs 32,000 per 10 gram. Prices trended lower on Wednesday as the dollar firmed against the rupee, although the metal remained near a twoweek peak hit in the previous session. Internationally, spot gold was down 0.1 per cent at $1,302.36 per ounce. US gold futures slipped 0.2 per cent to $1,306 an ounce. Equities slipped on mounting concerns over global growth.

“…global growth concerns on Brexit and the trade war are bullish factors for higher international gold prices, which would limit the downside in India,” Patel said.

“We expect gold prices to trade higher in the medium term, with resistance at Rs 32,800. Above this level, prices may head toward Rs 34,450, with strong support at Rs 31,500.”

Source

TFMNews | The Future Markets

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Tata Power SED secures $173.6 Million (Rs.1200 Crore) deal from Ministry of Defence, India

The deal will be accomplished by Tata Power SED as the main contractor with Spain’s foreign Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) partner Indra Sistemas.

TFMNews

Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division today reported that it has signed $173.6 Million (Rs.1200 Crore) deal with Defence Ministry of India, to supply 23 ship-borne 3D Air Surveillance Radars to the Indian Navy over the next 10 years.

The deal was signed under the Buy and Make (India) category of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2013 which will be offering the Indian Navy a demonstrated solution with a production procedure India under Transfer of Technology (ToT).

The deal will be accomplished by Tata Power SED as the main contractor with Spain’s foreign Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) partner Indra Sistemas. And Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. (TASL) has entered into and sales and purchase agreement (SPA) with Tata Power for acquisition of Tata Power SED, subject to regulatory and other approvals.

Last year in November 2017, Tata Power SED had signed a agreement with Ministry of Defence for the supply of Portable Diver Detection Sonar (PDDS) for Indian Naval applications. This deal was also part of “Make in India” initiative and another deal was under the MoD procurement category “Buy and Make (India)” signed by Ministry of Defence.

To deliver PDDS systems, Tata Power SED joined with Israel’s DSIT Solutions Limited under a ToT arrangement for DSIT’s PointShieldTM PDDS. Diver Detection Sonar was one of the largest contract in the world market.

Tata Power is India’s largest unified power corporation and together with its subsidiaries and jointly controlled units, it has an installed capacity of 10857 MW. It has existence across the complete power value chain: Generation of renewable as well as conventional power including hydro and thermal energy; transmission & distribution, trading and coal & freight logistics.

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Worlds biggest clothing retailer ZARA reported profits of 3.44 billion euros ($3.88 billion)

Investors fret about Zara-owner’s slowing sales growth.

The world’s biggest clothing retailer reported profits of 3.44 billion euros ($3.88 billion) on sales of 26.15 billion euros.

TFMNews

Zara owner Inditex reported a 2 percent rise in full-year profit on March 13 as it launched Zara online into 106 new markets in November and benefited from favourable comparisons to unseasonably cold weather last year.

The world’s biggest clothing retailer reported profits of 3.44 billion euros ($3.88 billion) on sales of 26.15 billion euros, slightly lower than analysts’ expectations.

Unlike many in the troubled apparel sector, Inditex has been able to avoid heavy discounting thanks to its tightly controlled inventory and its ability to get looks on sale in a few weeks allowing it to respond to fast-changing trends.

Online sales grew by 27 percent in 2018, reaching 3.2 billion euros, or 12 percent of sales. Inditex estimated total like-for-like sales growth of between 4 to 6 percent for this financial year.

Sales in shops and online at constant exchange rates rose 7 percent in the first week of the new financial year, from Feb 1 to March 9.

Cash rich Inditex said the total dividend for the financial year would be 0.88 euros per share, an increase of 17 percent.

Source: Reuters on MoneyControl

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Etihad Rail rewards contract to build UAE railway to Chinese and Korean JV

The contract was rewarded to a joint venture between the China State Construction Engineering Corporation and South Korea’s SK Engineering and Construction. Contract includes works on Ruwais-Ghuwaifat route on UAE-Saudi Arabia border.

TFMNews

Dubai: Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE’s upcoming railway, approved package A of the tender awards for the second stage of the network.

The contract was awarded to a joint venture between the China State Construction Engineering Corporation and South Korea’s SK Engineering and Construction.

The package includes all design and build, civil and track works of the 139-kilometre package A of Stage Two of the network to connect Ruwais with Ghuwaifat on the UAE border with Saudi Arabia. Stage two, when complete, will run for 605 kilometres from Ghuwaifat to the port of Fujairah, Etihad Rail said.

The developer did not disclose the value of the contract award.

Shaikh Theyab Bin Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Executive Council member and chairman of Etihad Rail, said the company is reaching a “major turning point” in the transportation sector in the UAE and GCC.

“This initial link is just the beginning, as Etihad Rail expands its network to improve all aspects of freight transport across our border and around the region, placing the UAE at the centre of regional goods movement as a global logistics hub,” he said in a statement.

Source: Gulfnews

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Nissan and Renault retooled board structure of the world’s largest alliance

Japan’s Nissan Motor and France’s Renault retooled the board structure of the world’s largest car-making alliance and there would be no change to junior partner Mitsubishi Motors cross-shareholding agreements.

TFMNews

Japan’s Nissan Motor and France’s Renault on Tuesday retooled the board structure of the world’s largest car-making alliance, putting themselves as equals after the ouster of former boss Carlos Ghosn.

They said the chairman of Renault would serve as the chairman of the alliance but — in a critical sign of the rebalancing —not as chairman of Nissan. It was not immediately clear who would take that job, vacant since Ghosn was arrested in November.

The ouster of Ghosn, one of the world’s most celebrated executives for his rescue of Nissan from near-bankruptcy in 1999, had caused much soul-searching about the future of the alliance. Nissan has said the executive wielded far too much power, creating a lack of oversight and corporate governance.

“This is an equal partnership,” Nissan Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa told a news conference.

But the companies, including junior partner Mitsubishi Motors, said there would be no change to their cross-shareholding agreements. The so-called “RAMA” alliance agreement that has bound them together so far remains intact.

Separately, a Tokyo court on Monday rejected Ghosn’s request to attend Nissan’s board meeting, denying a seat at the table to the executive who drove the alliance with Renault for two decades.

Released on a $9 million bail last week after spending more than 100 days in a Tokyo detention center, Ghosn faces charges of under-reporting his salary at Nissan by about $82 million over nearly a decade — charges he has called “meritless.”

In the wake of the scandal, Renault has started its own review of payments to Ghosn. French prosecutors have opened a preliminary inquiry into how he financed his 2016 wedding at the Chateau de Versailles, French media have reported.

His dramatic arrest in November and the detention exposed tensions between Nissan and its top shareholder Renault, and appeared to muddy the outlook for the future of the alliance – the world’s largest maker of automobiles, excluding heavy trucks.

Some at Nissan had been unhappy with Ghosn’s push for a deeper tie-up with Renault, which was seen as possibly including a full merger. Smaller Renault bought 43 percent of Nissan ahead of the 1999 rescue.

Nissan holds a 15 percent, non-voting stake in Renault, whose top shareholder is the French government.

Source: CNBC

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Chipmaker Nvidia’s approaches its biggest deal to acquire Mellanox Tech

The deal would be Nvidia’s biggest-ever acquisition and boost its business of making chips for data centers, allowing it to reduce its reliance on the video game industry, for which it is best known as a major technology vendor.

TFMNews

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Chipmaker Nvidia Corp is approaching a deal to acquire peer Mellanox Technologies Ltd for more than $7 billion in cash, a person familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

The deal would be Nvidia’s biggest-ever acquisition and boost its business of making chips for data centers, allowing it to reduce its reliance on the video game industry, for which it is best known as a major technology vendor.

Nvidia has outbid Intel Corp in the auction for Mellanox and could announce a deal as early as Monday, the person said. The source asked not to be identified because the negotiations are confidential. Intel and Mellanox did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Nvidia declined to comment. Financial news website Calcalist had reported earlier on Sunday that Nvidia had outbid Intel for Mellanox.

Mellanox’s chips power high-speed networks connecting servers. The company, which is based in Israel and the United States, had a market capitalization at the end of trading on Friday of about $5.9 billion.

Data center revenue accounts for nearly a third of Nvidia’s sales. Nvidia, based in Santa Clara, California has grown at a rapid pace in the past few years, under CEO Jensen Huang, but a slowdown in China and a fading cyrptocurrency craze have started to weigh on its sales in recent quarters.

In January, Nvidia, which has market capitalization of $91 billion, cut its fourth-quarter revenue estimate by half a billion dollars because of weak demand for its gaming chips in China and lower-than-expected data center sales.

Nvidia’s acquisition of Mellanox would also represent a win for activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP, which is a shareholder of the company and reached a deal with it last year over the composition of its board.

Source: Reuters

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Barrick Gold pulled $18 billion Newmont bid and formed a JV in Nevada

By combining their operations in the southwestern U.S. state, which is home to one of the world’s largest gold-producing areas, Barrick and Newmont hope to save more than $5 billion over the next 20 years.

TFMNews

(Reuters) – Barrick Gold Corp on Monday pulled its $18 billion offer for Newmont Mining Corp and agreed to form a joint venture in Nevada with its rival, ending a hostile takeover bid that sought to unite the world’s two largest gold producers.

By combining their operations in the southwestern U.S. state, which is home to one of the world’s largest gold-producing areas, Barrick and Newmont hope to save more than $5 billion over the next 20 years.

Toronto-based Barrick will control 61.5 percent of the venture, giving it slightly less oversight than it initially wanted even as it gains full operational control over mines that produce more than 4 million ounces of gold annually.

The agreement comes amid a pickup in deals across the gold industry, which has struggled with a loss of investor confidence and financing constraints in recent years.

“This is one of those rare transactions that really does create demonstrable value for everyone involved,” Barrick Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow told Reuters on Monday. “It shows that people, if you put your mind to it, can deliver transactions in a very short while.”

Shares of Barrick were up about 0.9 percent at $13.05 on the New York Stock Exchange and up 1.1 percent at C$17.53 on the Toronto Stock Exchange in early afternoon trading. Newmont shares were down 2.3 percent to $32.92 in New York.

Colorado-based Newmont rejected Barrick’s all-stock zero-premium hostile takeover, which was launched last month, and proposed instead the Nevada joint venture, which both companies have tried to form for years.

The deal seems to wash away, for now, vestiges of a long-simmering feud between the companies. Bristow, on the same day Barrick launched its bid, called Newmont CEO Gary Goldberg a “loser” in a Reuters interview.

Goldberg, for his part, had told Reuters that Bristow’s “credibility and experience” and performance at Randgold, which Bristow had led until two months ago when it was acquired by Barrick, was “anemic.”

Yet both men flew to Nevada on Monday to announce the deal, a step designed to underscore collaboration. Even the companies’ social media accounts played nice: Barrick’s Twitter profile “liked” Newmont’s announcement of the Nevada JV.

As part of Monday’s agreement, Barrick will also withdraw several shareholder proposals for Newmont’s annual meeting later this year.

“Through this joint venture, the whole is going to be worth a lot more than the sum of its parts,” said Newmont Chief Operating Officer Tom Palmer, who will take over as CEO when Goldberg retires at the end of 2019.

Newmont and Barrick share many investors, and some had been unenthusiastic about the hostile takeover bid.

Source: Reuters

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VW to launch electric models; profit margin slips to 3.8 percent last year

The profit margin at its core VW brand slipped to 3.8 percent last year, down from 4.2 percent, as higher investments into electric cars and challenges getting combustion-engined vehicles certified ate into profits, VW said.

TFMNews

WOLFSBURG, Germany, March 12 (Reuters) – Volkswagen on Tuesday said it will launch 70 new electric models by 2028, accelerating its rollout of zero-emission cars as earnings revealed the operating margin at its core brand had taken a hit from new emissions tests.

The profit margin at its core VW brand slipped to 3.8 percent last year, down from 4.2 percent, as higher investments into electric cars and challenges getting combustion-engined vehicles certified ate into profits, VW said.

Volkswagen released full earnings on Tuesday after pre-releasing earnings in February, when it said its 2018 group operating profit came in at 13.92 billion euros ($15.8 billion), 0.7 percent higher than the prior year and below 14.53 billion euros forecast in a poll.

Source: Reuters

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Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank merger news worries workers unions

Combining Germany’s two largest banks could result in 30,000 job losses, a union warned, prompting Merkel’s chief of staff to say the government was scrutinising the issue.

TFMNews

BERLIN/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank faced concerns from workers unions, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office and top shareholders on Monday after confirming merger talks.

The concerns underline the obstacles to combining the banks, which confirmed talks about a tie-up on Sunday following months of pressure from Berlin, which has pushed for a deal amid concerns about the health of Deutsche Bank, which has struggled to sustain profits since the 2008 financial crisis.

Chancellery Chief Helge Braun told Bild newspaper that it would be “difficult” if thousands of jobs would be cut, warning that the government was “never passive when it comes to deals of such magnitude”.

Together the two banks employ 140,000 people worldwide, 91,700 at Deutsche and 49,000 at Commerzbank and a merged bank would have one fifth of the German retail banking market.

Together the two banks employ 140,000 people worldwide, 91,700 at Deutsche and 49,000 at Commerzbank and a merged bank would have one fifth of the German retail banking market.

Despite the worries about jobs, the market reaction to news that the two banks were engaged in talks, which ended months of speculation, was positive. Shares in Deutsche Bank were up 5.0 percent at 1216 GMT while Commerzbank traded 6.7 percent higher.

The supervisory boards of both banks are due meet on Thursday, with the merger likely to top the agenda. However, two top shareholders in Deutsche Bank expressed their disapproval, with one questioning not only the logic but also the timing of a deal.

“There is no obvious reason why these two banks should be merged,” a person close to another shareholder said.

And while international credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s, which downgraded Deutsche Bank last year, said a well executed merger could reap efficiencies, it warned a deal would “entail significant uncertainties and risks”.

In addition to regulatory and antitrust risks, an effort to merge would mean “several more years of significant internal restructuring,” while competitors move forward.

The banks have “patchy track records in executing strategic programs,” S&P said.

JOBS HURDLE

Berlin, which holds a stake of more than 15 percent in Commerzbank following a bailout, wants a national banking champion to support its export-led economy, best known for cars and machine tools.

However, the jobs impact could be a major hurdle.

A merger of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank could result in as many as 30,000 job cuts over the long term, a representative of German union Verdi, who is a supervisory board member at Deutsche Bank, told n-tv broadcaster. Most of the 30,000 positions at risk are based in Germany, with 10,00 at threat in the short term, Verdi’s Jan Duscheck said in comments published by the TV station.

“A possible merger would not result in a business model that is sustainable in the long term,” Duscheck said.

Source: Reuters

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Kuwait Airways is seeking $350 million loan to pay for planes

The state-run airline is talking to banks to raise a five-year facility.

TFMNews

Kuwait City: Kuwait Airways Corp. is seeking a $350 million loan that will help the Gulf carrier pay for planes, people with information of the deal stated.

The state-run airline is talking to banks to raise a five-year facility, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information is private. It’ll be used to make early payments for narrow-body jets, they said.

Kuwait Airways has 15 Airbus SE A320neo narrow-body planes on order as well as eight A330neos, five A350s plus 10 Boeing 777s. It currently has a fleet of 17 planes, according to information on its website.

A spokesman for Kuwait Airways didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Source: GulfNews

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US firm Fidelity National Info Services acquires Worldpay for $35 billion

The financial technology sector is consolidating fast, with global payments set to reach $3 trillion a year in revenue by 2023 as more people switch from cash to digital payments for online and high street sales, consulting firm McKinsey predicts.

TFMNews

Fidelity National Information Services has agreed to buy Worldpay for about $35 billion, with the US financial services provider striking the biggest deal to date in the fast-growing electronic payments industry.

The financial technology sector is consolidating fast.

Global payments are set to reach $3 trillion a year in revenue by 2023 as more people switch from cash to digital payments for online and high street sales.

“Scale matters in our rapidly changing industry,” said FIS chief executive Gary Norcross, who will lead the combined powerhouse in banking and payments infrastructure.

Growth in payment systems has kept deals rolling even as merger moves in other sectors have stalled on concerns about trade tensions and a global economic slowdown.

The FIS deal, valuing Worldpay at about $43 billion including debt, comes a little more than a year after US firm Vantiv paid $10.63 billion for the payments firm.

Worldpay had been set up in Britain and spun off from Royal Bank of Scotland in 2010. And in January, US-based Fiserv Inc bought payment processor First Data Corp for $22 billion, while Italy’s Nexi plans to list in what could be one of Europe’s biggest initial public offerings (IPOs) this year.

FIS and Worldpay combined will have annual revenue of about $12 billion and adjusted core earnings of about $5 billion.

“Vantiv had yet to realise all the synergies from the Worldpay merger but FIS’s offer was too good to be refused,” a source close to the deal said.

Worldpay is a major player in card payments, particularly in Britain, while FIS, produces software for banks and asset managers as well as its financial services outsourcing business.

Worldpay shareholders will receive 0.9287 FIS shares and $11 in cash for each share held, valuing the company at $112.12 per share, a premium of about 14% on its Friday close.

FIS shareholders will own about 53% in the combined firm and Worldpay’s about 47%, with Worldpay Chief Executive Charles Drucker becoming executive vice-chairman.

Source: Reuters

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