Sat, Feb 11, 2012 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



Motorola loses patent suit

Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc, which has won two rulings against Apple Inc in Germany, failed to win a third in a patent case involving the use of mathematical sequences in mobile telecommunications. The Regional Court in Mannheim rejected the suit yesterday. Motorola Mobility did not show that Apple violated its patent, Presiding Judge Andreas Voss said when delivering the ruling. More cases between the two companies are pending in German courts, including a bid by Motorola Mobility to enforce its first win from December, which briefly forced Apple to remove some older iPhone and iPad models from its online store in Germany last week. Google Inc is buying Illinois-based Motorola Mobility to gain mobile patents and expand its hardware business.


IEA trims growth forecast

The International Energy Agency (IEA) trimmed its forecast for oil demand growth as a result of gloomy economic prospects, but said yesterday that markets were taking tougher international sanctions on Iran in their stride. The agency cut its forecast for growth in oil demand this year to 0.8 million barrels per day (mbd), from 1.1mbd, after the IMF slashed its estimate for global economic growth from 4 percent to 3.3 percent this year. The agency was largely sanguine about the impact of tighter international sanctions on Iran, including an EU import ban which takes effect in July. The new forecast for global oil demand of 89.9mbd, is slightly higher that that of the OPEC oil producers cartel, which trimmed its demand forecast for this year on Thursday to 88.76mbd.


Central bank cuts forecasts

The central bank yesterday trimmed its growth and inflation forecasts for the year to June and signaled it has leeway to cut interest rates amid uncertainty over the eurozone debt crisis. In its quarterly statement on monetary policy, the bank said economic growth in the year to June was expected to be 3.5 percent, down from the 4 percent it forecast in November last year. The bank left its outlook for GDP for this year unchanged at between 3 percent and 3.5 percent. Underlying inflation was forecast to be at 2.25 percent in the 12 months to June compared with its previous estimate of 2.5 percent, within the bank’s 2 percent to 3 percent target band. The bank said uncertainty about Europe’s debt crisis had weighed on household and business confidence and while strong growth was expected in the mining sector, other parts of the economy would continue to struggle.


Fund bets on US Treasuries

Pacific Investment Management Co’s Bill Gross increased his holdings of US Treasuries to the highest level since July 2010, while Berkshire Hathaway Inc chairman Warren Buffett called them “dangerous.” Gross boosted US government and Treasury debt to 38 percent of assets in Pimco’s US$250.5 billion Total Return Fund, the world’s biggest bond fund. The position last month climbed from 30 percent in December, according to a report on the company’s Web site on Thursday. The billionaire investor, said taxes and inflation should dissuade investors from debt. That puts him in the same camp as Laurence Fink, chief executive officer of BlackRock Inc, the world’s largest money manager, who said this week investors should have 100 percent of their holdings in equities because they offer higher returns than bonds.

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