Watchdog likely to recommend $22 million fine against Nissan

Former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn arrives for a pretrial hearing at the Tokyo District Court. (AFP/File)
Updated 08 December 2019

Watchdog likely to recommend $22 million fine against Nissan

  • Automobile manufacturer accused of false reporting on its financial statement

TOKYO: Japan’s markets watchdog will likely soon recommend that the financial regulator fine Nissan Motor Co. about 2.4 billion yen ($22 million) over false reporting on its financial statement, public broadcaster NHK reported on Sunday.

Nissan’s former Chairman Carlos Ghosn was arrested in Tokyo in November last year over allegations of financial misconduct, including understating his salary by around 9.1 billion yen over a period of nearly a decade and temporarily transferring personal financial losses to the books of Nissan, Japan’s No. 2 automaker.

Reuters reported in June that Nissan would be fined up to 4 billion yen and it may receive a reduced fine of around 2.4 billion yen if the automaker filed documentation to the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC) before the formal investigation begins, citing a source.

The fine would cover a four-year period through March 2018, the source previously told Reuters.

Separately, Nissan earlier announced making its US factory and office employees take two days off without pay amid slumping sales. The company’s US sales this year are down 7.8 percent through November. Nissan said nearly all of its 21,000 US workers must take Jan. 2 and 3 off without compensation. A company statement said the furloughs will “optimize business performance and competitiveness.”

All of Nissan’s US factories and offices will be affected by the furloughs including the North American headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee, near Nashville. Nissan and Infiniti dealerships will remain open.

Most Nissan and Infiniti luxury brand models in the US are in a sales slump, including the company’s top seller, the Nissan Rogue compact SUV, with sales down 12.6 percent so far this year.


Aramco profits fall in tough quarter, but sees partial recovery from COVID-19 impact

Updated 51 min 38 sec ago

Aramco profits fall in tough quarter, but sees partial recovery from COVID-19 impact

  • Aramco see’s “partial recovery” from pandemic impact
  • Aramco president says company remains resilient

DUBAI: Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, reported a net income of $6.57bn for the second quarter of 2020, the period which witnessed the most volatile oil market conditions for many decades.

The result, announced to the Tadawul stock exchange in Riyadh where the shares are listed, compared with income of $24.7 bn last year.

Amin Nasser, president and chief executive, said: “Despite COVID-19 bringing the world to a standstill, Aramco kept going. We have proven our financial resilience and operational reliability, setting a record in our business operations, while at the same time taking steps to ensure the health and safety of our people.”

Aramco’s dividend - a big attraction for the investors who bought into the world’s biggest initial public offering last year - will remain as pledged, Nasser added. Cash flow in the quarter amounted to $6.106 bn.

““Strong headwinds from reduced demand and lower oil prices are reflected in our second quarter results. Yet we delivered solid earnings because of our low production costs, unique scale, agile workforce, and unrivalled financial and operational strength. This helped us deliver on our plan to maintain a second quarter dividend of $18.75 billion to be paid in the third quarter,” he said.

Aramco said the loss was “mainly reflecting the impact of lower crude oil prices and declining refining and chemicals margins, partly offset by a decrease in production royalties resulting from lower crude oil prices and a decrease in the royalty rate from 20 per cent to 15 per cent, lower income taxes and zakat as a result of lower earnings, and higher other income related to sales for gas products.”

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Sales and revenue in the period - which saw oil prices collapse on “Black Monday” in April - fell 57 per cent to $32.861 bn from the comparable period last year. 

Nasser said he was cautiously optimistic that the world economy was slowly recovering from the depths of the pandemic lockdowns.

“We are seeing a partial recovery in the energy market as countries around the world take steps to ease restrictions and reboot their economies. Meanwhile, we continue to place people’s safety first and have adapted to the new normal, implementing wide-ranging precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 wherever we operate.

“We are determined to emerge from the pandemic stronger and will continue making progress on our long-term strategic journey, through ongoing investments in our business – which has one of the lowest upstream carbon footprints in the world,” he added.

Aramco expects capital expenditure to be at the lower end of the $25bn to $30bn range it has already indicated for this year.