LG to boost spending 12%
LG Group, whose companies include the world’s third-largest maker of mobile phones and the No. 2 producer of LCD televisions, will boost spending by 12 percent to a record next year to further growth. The group companies will invest 16.3 trillion won (US$14 billion) in capital expenditure and 4.7 trillion won in research and development next year, LG said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. South Korea’s fourth-largest family run industrial group is investing a combined 18.8 trillion won this year. The move will “accelerate the development of new growth engines,” the statement said.
Tax revenues up last month
Tax receipts rose last month as economic growth helped trim unemployment and company tax revenue expanded, a finance ministry report showed. Receipts, led by income tax, grew 2.5 percent compared with November last year, the ministry said yesterday in its monthly report. The Berlin-based ministry expects this year’s revenue to match receipts from last year, mainly because of changes to tax paid on child allowances and lower returns from a flat tax on interest from investments. Tax receipts in the first 11 months rose 0.2 percent from a year earlier, the ministry said.
Exports jump 28.5%
Export growth accelerated last month as Asian demand supported sales, justifying the central bank’s move to raise interest rates earlier this month. Overseas sales increased 28.5 percent last month from a year earlier to US$17.7 billion after rising 15.7 percent in October, the commerce ministry said in Nonthaburi Province on the outskirts of Bangkok yesterday. The median estimate of 10 economists in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 21 percent gain. The Bank of Thailand unexpectedly raised its benchmark rate for the third time this year to 2 percent on Dec. 1, signaling policy makers view inflation as a bigger threat than slowing growth.
Fullterton makes purchase
Fullerton Financial Holdings Pte, a unit of Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte, bought a 15 percent stake in Vietnam’s Mekong Development Bank. The purchase helped lift registered capital at the lender, based in the southern An Giang Province, to 3 trillion dong (US$154 million) from 1 trillion dong, the Vietnamese bank said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The two companies also agreed on a plan that would allow Fullerton to increase the stake to 20 percent next year, it said, without giving a specific timeframe. The investment allows Mekong Development to meet a central bank requirement to raise additional capital as the nation seeks to bolster lenders’ financial strength.
Indonesia drops import duty
Indonesia, stepping up rice shipments from overseas, will abolish a duty on imports for state food company Bulog to help stabilize domestic prices, according to Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu. “The finance ministry has agreed to remove the import duty, it just needs an internal process to issue the ruling,” Pangestu told reporters yesterday. Imports are charged 450 rupiah a kilogram (US$50 a tonne), according to Bulog last month. Indonesia has returned to the rice market this year as stockpiles fell to less than minimum levels and production growth failed to meet an official target.