Japan’s transport ministry said on Wednesday it had carried out spot inspections at two plants producing Nissan Motor Co Ltd (T:7201) vehicles as part of a probe into final checks, days after irregularities forced the automaker to recall 1.2 million cars sold in Japan.
The two inspections on Tuesday followed inspections at four more factories last week, the ministry said. The initial four found the automaker had conducted unauthorised final vehicle checks for most domestic models which had not yet been sold, prompting Nissan to suspend new vehicle registrations with the government.
By Monday, Japan’s second-biggest automaker had discovered problematic checks of more vehicles, and said it would recall all new passenger cars sold in Japan over the past three years.
This is the second major instance of misconduct involving a Japanese automaker in under two years, after Mitsubishi Motors Corp (T:7211) said it tampered with fuel economy tests for some domestic-market models. While the recall is unlikely to have a significant impact on profitability, it is a blow to Nissan’s reputation just as it enjoys strong domestic sales, analysts said.
By Maki Shiraki and Naomi Tajitsu
The European Central Bank will ask euro zone banks from next year to set aside more cash to cover newly classified bad loans and may also present additional measures to tackle the sector’s huge stock of bad debt, it said on Wednesday.
Soured loans are clogging up bank balance sheets and holding back lending, a headache for the ECB as weak credit growth offsets some of the stimulus it is trying to provide through low interest rates.
Starting Jan. 1, banks will have at most two years to set aside funds to cover 100 percent of their newly classified non-performing unsecured debt and seven years to cover all secured bad debt, it said in a new proposal, confirming an earlier Reuters report.
The dollar slipped lower against a basket of the other major currencies on Wednesday as markets weighed speculation over who will be the next Federal Reserve Chairman and ahead of U.S. jobs data that will be released later this week.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.2% to 93.23 by 03:10 AM ET (07:10 GMT), pulling back from Tuesday’s one-and-a-half month high of 98.78.
Sentiment on the dollar was dented following reports that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin favors Fed Governor Jerome Powell over former governor Kevin Warsh to lead the central bank.
Last week the Trump administration interviewed both Warsh and Powell about replacing current Chair Janet Yellen when her term expires early next year. Powell is seen as more dovish that Warsh, who has been critical of the Fed’s stimulus program in the past.
Investors were also looking ahead to Friday’s U.S. employment report for September. Signs of solid job growth would reinforce the case for a rate hike by the Fed in December.
Expectations that rates will rise help support the dollar by making U.S. assets more attractive to yield-seeking investors.
The European Union ordered the world’s largest online retailer Amazon (O:AMZN) on Wednesday to pay back about 250 million euros ($294 million) in taxes to Luxembourg, saying it had been given an unfair tax advantage from 2003.
“Luxembourg gave illegal tax benefits to Amazon. As a result, almost three quarters of Amazon’s profits were not taxed,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.