Thu, Oct 13, 2011 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

ECONOMY

S Korean job growth slows

South Korea’s unemployment rate was unchanged last month from August, but job growth showed signs of slowing down after recent big increases, official figures showed yesterday. The jobless rate was 3 percent last month, Statistics Korea said, compared with 3.4 percent in September last year. The economy added 264,000 jobs last month from a year earlier, compared with a figure of 490,000 in August. The increase in jobs was the smallest since September last year, when 249,000 were added.

INDUSTRY

Indian output disappoints

India’s industrial output grew by a weaker-than-expected 4.1 percent in August from a year earlier, hit by 18 months of interest rate hikes and a gloomy global trade outlook, data showed yesterday. The increase in output from India’s factories, mines and utilities fell short of 4.5 percent growth in the same month last year, and undershot financial market expectations of a 5 percent monthly expansion. However, the August figure was up from July’s 3.3 percent rise, the slowest in nearly two years, according to the Central Statistical Organisation.

MINING

Grasberg pumps up output

Freeport Indonesia has ramped up copper concentrate production at its strike-hit giant Grasberg Mine, taking it to more than 4,000 tonnes per day this month, while almost 79,000 tonnes would be shipped this week, the company said yesterday. Concentrate output was only 54 tonnes on Sept. 18, just days after the start of a strike by about half its workforce. The firm said output has steadily climbed since, peaking at 6,266 tonnes on Oct. 9, and was 4,494 tonnes on Monday.

LUXURY GOODS

Burberry sales rise

Burberry PLC said yesterday that like-for-like sales — excluding new stores and space — were up 16 percent in the second quarter ending Sept. 30, compared with a year ago. The company said important markets including New York, London and Paris were among its strongest performers, along with Hong Kong and Dubai. Burberry said like-for-like sales in China were up about 30 percent. Total revenue in the first and second quarters was up 30 percent to £830 million (US$1.3 billion), led by a 44 percent gain in retail sales. Burberry did not report earnings in the trading update.

OIL

Chevron warns on production

Chevron Corp said on Tuesday that it expects to report lower earnings for its oil exploration and production business in the third quarter, reflecting a sharp drop in oil-equivalent production for the period. The oil company expects that its third-quarter results will be in line with those of the second quarter. Chevron reported a profit of US$7.7 billion, or US$3.85 a share, for the second quarter — the largest quarterly profit since the third quarter of 2008.

INVESTMENT

Bain in talks to buy Skylark

US investment firm Bain Capital is in final talks to buy Japanese restaurant chain Skylark from Nomura Holdings for as much as ¥250 billion (US$3.3 billion), reports said yesterday. The deal would be one of the largest acquisitions in Japan by a foreign investment firm since the financial crisis in 2008. An agreement between Bain and Nomura will likely be finalized later this month, Dow Jones Newswires said, citing an unnamed source. Skylark has about 3,680 outlets in Japan and overseas.

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