New stimulus mulled
The government of Prime Minister Naoto Kan is set to propose a new stimulus package, a report said yesterday, as Tokyo looks to drag the country out of the economic doldrums. The government of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan is considering a stimulus package worth around ￥4.8 trillion (US$57.68 billion) as part of this year’s supplementary budget, the Nikkei daily said. The package would feature measures intended to secure stable supplies of rare-earth metals and to develop substitutes for them, as well as a new subsidy to revitalize regional economies by financing public works projects, it said.
Facebook splitting stock
Facebook, the world’s No. 1 Internet social network, is splitting its stock, as shares in the privately held company have surged roughly seven-fold in the past 15 months. A Facebook spokesman told Reuters on Friday that Facebook is enacting a five-for-one split of the company’s shares in order to bring the value “back down into the range of other private companies.” Facebook has no plans for an initial public offering of the company’s shares, spokesman Jonny Thaw said. He noted that Facebook has split its stock twice before, with a four-for-one split in October 2007 and another four-for-one split in July of the previous year.
Second loan released to Iraq
The IMF said on Friday it was releasing US$741 million in financing to Iraq after the country made good progress in reconstructing the war-torn economy. The loan is the second installment of a 24-month loan the IMF awarded to Iraq in February. The IMF executive board completed its first review of Iraq’s progress under a program supported by the loan, bringing the total resources currently available to Iraq to about US$1.204 billion, the Washington-based institution said in a statement.
Sinopec to buy Repsol stake
China’s Sinopec Group (中國石油化工集團公司) said on Friday it plans to buy 40 percent of Repsol’s deepwater oil assets in Brazil for US$7.1 billion as the Asian giant expands its presence in resource-rich Latin America. China has invested heavily in natural resource projects overseas to feed its surging domestic economy and is now on track to be the biggest foreign direct investor in Brazil for this year — underscoring the trend of growing investment flows between big emerging economies that are now less reliant on traditional partners like the US. Sinopec announced the -multibillion-dollar agreement just two days before Brazilians go to the polls to elect a new president. Dilma Rousseff, the handpicked successor of outgoing Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, is widely forecast to win the election.
Daimler to finance in India
Daimler AG’s local unit will extend the German automaker’s financial arm into India, the Business Standard said citing Wilfried Aulbur, chief executive officer of Mercedes-Benz India. Daimler Financial Services will focus on finance and leasing, dealer finance and insurance to private customers, dealers and groups, the report said. The company is awaiting government approval to begin operations, the newspaper said.