Thu, Oct 21, 2010 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



Goldman Sachs trading falls

Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s earnings easily beat analysts’ forecasts again, but the bank saw a big slowdown in trading, its most profitable business. Net income after paying preferred dividends fell 43 percent from the year-ago period as revenue in the bank’s bond, currency and commodities trading division fell to its lowest level since the depths of the financial crisis in late 2008. Analysts said a lack of market volatility and expectations for continued stability in interest rates hurt trading volume during the quarter.


PPI rate rises 3.9%

Official data show that the country’s annual producer price inflation (PPI) rate accelerated to 3.9 percent last month on a hefty increase in energy costs. The Federal Statistical Office said yesterday that the producer price inflation rate — a gauge of inflation trends in industry before they trickle through to consumers — was up from 3.2 percent in August. Energy prices were up 6.7 percent. Producer prices were up 0.3 percent on the month. The headline consumer price inflation rate in Europe’s biggest economy has remained tame in recent months even as output grew strongly. The annual rate last month was 1.3 percent.


Temasek invests in OOG

State-linked Singaporean investment firm Temasek has invested US$400 million in Brazil’s Odebrecht Oil and Gas (OOG) in a further push into South America, a joint statement said yesterday. “The funds will be used for fresh investments and will consolidate OOG as an integrated services company for the oil industry,” the statement said. Temasek Holdings’ investment will also help Odebrecht expand its footprint in Brazil and globally “especially in Angola and Latin America,” the statement said, adding that Temasek now holds a minority stake in the company. The precise size was not specified.


China denies rare earth cuts

China yesterday denied a report that the government plans to slash export quotas of rare earth metals next year, seeking to ease international jitters about its stranglehold on supplies. Any cut in Chinese exports could rattle firms, which use the range of metals to make parts of autos, computers and cellphones, missiles and new energy technology. Chinese Commerce Ministry Deputy Director Shen Danyang (沈丹陽) said a report in the China Daily on Tuesday that export quotas would be cut by 30 percent next year were “unfounded.”


Italy’s non-EU deficit soars

Italy’s trading performance with countries outside the EU took a sharp turn for the worse last month when the deficit shot up nearly five-fold, official data showed yesterday. The main cause was a 32 percent rise in imports, and a surge of imports from China, data from the official statistics office Istat showed. The trade figures showed an overall deficit of 2.746 billion euros (US$3.6 billion) from a deficit of 569 million euros in September last year. Exports rose by only 13 percent last month from the level a year earlier. Imports from China surged by 66.6 percent and imports from the Middle East by 64.9 percent, while imports from India rose by 49.7 percent. Exports to China rose by 47.8 percent, to the US by 42.1 percent and to Russia by 40 percent. In the first nine months of the year the cumulative trade balance showed a deficit of 15.249 billion euros, or more than triple the equivalent figure last year of 4.46 billion euros.

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