Airbus posted an industry record of 1,619 new plane orders in 2013, pushing its backlog to almost nine years of production, and said it was examining the potential for a two-stage increase in production of its most popular jets. The European planemaker reclaimed the top spot in commercial orders from Boeing after repeatedly revising up its targets last year, but lost the delivery contest to its rival despite an internal record of 626 deliveries. While booking more jets than ever in a year dominated by the launch of two new Boeing aircraft, Airbus revoked orders for its A380 and A350 jets from Kingfisher Airlines, which has not been flying since 2012 due to a cash crunch. After adjusting for cancellations, Airbus total net orders rose 80% from the previous year to 1,503 aircraft.
Fed Reserve said to probe banks over forex fixing
The US Federal Reserve is investigating whether traders at the world’s biggest banks rigged benchmark currency rates, raising the risk that firms will be penalised for lax controls as regulators look for wrongdoing. The Fed, which supervises US bank holding companies, is among authorities from London to Washington probing whether traders shared information that may have let them manipulate prices in the $5.3-trillion-a-day foreign-exchange market to maximise their profits, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter, asking not to be named because it’s confidential. “The Fed has discretion whether to and how much to fine the banks if deficient controls or lack of supervision resulted in traders at these banks manipulating currency rates,” said Jacob Frenkel, a former federal prosecutor and now a lawyer at Shulman Rogers Gandal Pordy & Ecker in Potomac, Maryland.
BMW aims for another sales gain after ’13 record
German carmaker BMW sold 2.9% more cars in December, lifting its 2013 sales to a record level, and said it aimed for another increase this year. Full-year group sales rose 6.4% to 1.96 million vehicles, helped by demand in China and the United States, it said on Monday. Volkswagen’s Audi division last week reported sales of 1.57 million last year and Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand came