What to watch in Asia today
Events: China’s National Bureau of Statistics announces population data for 2023.
Economic indicators: China releases a raft of key data, including fourth-quarter gross domestic product growth and December figures for house prices, industrial production and retail sales. Premier Li Qiang told an audience at Davos on Tuesday that the country’s economy grew about 5.2 per cent last year. In Japan, the Reuters Tankan index for January is released and Singapore announces non-oil exports for December. Japan National Tourism Organization is expected to release full-year visitor numbers for 2023.
Corporate updates: India’s Larsen & Toubro Infotech, Zee Entertainment Enterprises and Asian Paints announce results.
BP to appoint interim boss Murray Auchincloss as chief executive
BP has decided to appoint interim boss Murray Auchincloss as its permanent chief executive, with the energy company expected to announce the move as early as Wednesday, according to people familiar with the matter.
The selection of Auchincloss, BP’s former chief financial officer, ends months of uncertainty following the abrupt resignation of Bernard Looney in September for failing to disclose past relationships with colleagues.
BP conducted an internal and external search for Looney’s replacement and has once again decided to promote someone from within the business. BP has never hired a chief executive from outside the company in its 113-year history.
Read more here.
Boeing appoints retired Navy official to lead quality management review
Boeing has named a retired Navy admiral, Kirkland Donald, to lead an independent review of its quality management systems as the US plane maker tries to stem the fallout from a damaging breach in the fuselage of an Alaska Airlines aircraft 11 days ago.
The company said Donald and a team of “outside experts” would provide recommendations to chief executive Dave Calhoun and the Boeing board.
Boeing said on Monday it would bring in an external party to review its processes, while also allowing airline customers of its 737 Max aircraft to oversee factory procedures.
The planemaker’s shares fell almost 8 per cent on Tuesday.
Judge blocks JetBlue’s proposed $3.8bn takeover of Spirit Airlines
JetBlue Airways’ proposed $3.8bn acquisition of Spirit Airlines has been blocked by a US federal judge on grounds it would violate antitrust laws.
Judge William Young on Tuesday halted the companies from closing the deal after US authorities and states last year sued to halt the transaction because it would reduce competition in the passenger aviation industry.
“[I]f JetBlue were permitted to gobble up Spirit — at least as proposed — it would eliminate one of the airline industry’s few primary competitors that provides unique innovation and price discipline,” Young wrote.
Shares of JetBlue rose 5.9 per cent, while shares of Spirit sank 55 per cent.
Read more here.
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