GDP growth picks up
The country’s economy grew faster last quarter than the average for the 17-nation single currency bloc, which may face a recession as the sovereign-debt crisis deepens. The country’s third-quarter GDP adjusted for seasonal variations grew 0.9 percent from the three months through June, compared with a revised 0.1 percent growth in the second quarter, Helsinki-based Statistics Finland said on its Web site yesterday. In the year, GDP adjusted for working days increased 2.7 percent. The country’s economy is expanding at about four times the pace of the average in the euro area, which grew 0.2 percent in the three months through September as the debt crisis erodes demand, according to preliminary data by the European statistics office on Nov. 15.
Qatar, Shell sign deal
Qatar signed a deal with Royal Dutch Shell on Sunday to develop a US$6.4 billion petrochemicals complex in the Ras Laffan industrial city in the Gulf Arab state. Qatari Energy Minister Mohammed al-Sada and Shell CEO Peter Voser signed the agreement in Doha. “We estimate the cost to be [US]$6.4 billion, but at this stage one should be cautious,” Sada said. Asked whether the agreement replaced a similar one signed with US group Exxon Mobil, Sada said: “No, this is not a replacement. This is a continuation of our strategy. There will be other petrochemical plants in the pipeline.”
Vietnam expands airport
Vietnam has begun construction of a second terminal to ease overcrowding at the only airport in the nation’s capital, the government said. Officials held a ceremony at the Noi Bai airport on Sunday to break ground on the four-story facility, which is being funded by more than ￥75 billion (US$962 million) in Japanese aid, the Vietnamese government said. “Terminal 2, expected to be completed by the end of 2014, was designed to handle 10 million passengers per year,” it said in a statement released on Sunday. The existing terminal handled about 9.5 million passengers last year, exceeding its capacity of 6 million, the official English-language Vietnam News reported.
Executive may face charges
Police say a senior executive of Canada’s Research In Motion Ltd (RIM) is a suspect in last month’s stampede at a BlackBerry promotion in Indonesia. Police spokesman Colonel Baharudin Djafar said yesterday that several people fainted and dozens were injured at the global debut of the BlackBerry Bold 9790. The US$540 phones — commonly known as Bellagios — were being sold at half price to the first 1,000 shoppers. Djafar said Canadian Andy Cobham, the outgoing country director for RIM, is among four suspects who could face charges of negligence leading to injury.
Berlin prepared to help
Government officials are prepared to step in and nationalize Germany’s second-largest bank if the stricken institution cannot raise extra capital next year, a magazine reported on Sunday. Der Spiegel, citing anonymous government sources, reported Berlin could reactivate a rescue fund and buy up Commerzbank shares if it could not raise capital by the end of June. The German government already owns a 25 percent stake in Commerzbank. European banking officials estimate Commerzbank needs to recapitalize 2.9 billion euros (US$3.9 billion) by July, Der Spiegel reported.