Mon, Jul 18, 2011 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

IRAN

Tehran looks to China trade

Official news agency IRNA says President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for a quick increase in trade with China to US$100 billion a year. The agency says current trade between the two countries is worth about US$30 billion. Tehran turned to China after the West imposed economic sanctions over its suspected nuclear weapons program, which it says has a strictly peaceful purpose. Ahmadinejad spoke after a meeting on Saturday with He Guoqiang (賀國強), a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo Standing Committee. The president said he hoped the new trade goal would be reached quickly, but did not give a time frame. IRNA says the two countries signed agreements worth US$4 billion in mining, energy and other areas.

MEDIA

BSB mulls Murdoch future

British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc, Britain’s largest pay-TV provider, will discuss the future of its chairman James Murdoch with investors, the Sunday Times reported, without saying where it got the information. The company’s independent directors will consult with shareholders over the next 10 days about whether Murdoch should continue as chairman, the newspaper said. Discussions will be led by Nick Ferguson, chairman of SVG Capital, according to the report.

IRELAND

Bailout flexibility needed

The nation’s bailout package should be made more flexible to speed up its recovery and ensure its return to debt markets, Europe’s top economics official said in an opinion piece in a local newspaper. In an article published in the Sunday Business Post, Olli Rehn called for the interest rates on Ireland’s loans and the maturity of the debt to be lengthened. Last week, Moody’s downgraded Ireland’s credit rating to junk status on concerns it would need a second bailout when the current rescue package runs out in 2013 and private investors would likely have to take a “haircut” in a second rescue package.

AUSTRALIA

Gillard upbeat on economy

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said yesterday that she was confident the resources-led economy would remain strong, pointing to solid Asian growth despite uncertainty in the US and Europe. Consumer sentiment has plunged to levels not seen since the heady days of the global financial crisis, while Gillard’s plan to place a price on carbon is also thought to have rattled consumers. “There are some signs of increased risks from Europe and the United States,” Gillard said, adding that Australians were cautious about spending after the global slump and natural disasters in New Zealand and Japan. Gillard, whose center-left Labor government has plunged to record lows in polls, said the Chinese economy was growing strongly and the nation had a good budget position and low unemployment.

ITALY

‘Deficit under control’: Prodi

Former prime minister Romano Prodi said the deficit “is under control.” Rome’s austerity plan “will calm the markets,” he told Sky News Sunday. “From a macroeconomic point of view there was nothing new in Italy.” The political reaction to rising Italian bond yields was “unexpectedly quick, and the markets’ reaction will take account of this decision,” Prodi said.

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