Jobless rate rises slightly
Japan’s unemployment rate rose slightly last month, official data showed yesterday, with analysts highlighting the struggling electronics sector as contributing to job losses. The jobless rate edged up to 4.6 percent from 4.5 percent in March, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said. However, positive data showing household spending on the rise gave hope amid a lumbering economic recovery. Household spending last month rose an inflation-adjusted 2.6 percent from a year earlier, higher than an average 2.2 percent growth forecast by economists.
India mulls new measures
India is looking at ways to attract new capital flows from foreign investors as a way to bolster its ailing currency, a senior finance ministry official said on Monday. The Indian rupee hit an unprecedented string of all-time lows last week, falling as low as 56.38 rupees to the US dollar, but it rose on Monday to a one-week high of 55.18 rupees as investors took profits on the greenback. The government is expected to announce this week steps that could include easing rules for overseas retail investors to buy local shares or bonds, said the official, who did not wish to be named.
POSCO India mill completed
South Korea’s POSCO, the world’s third-largest steelmaker by output, yesterday said it had completed construction of its first steel mill in India. The mill in the west-central state of Maharashtra is capable of producing 450,000 tonnes of hot galvanized steel plate per year for cars and household goods for domestic and export sales. POSCO also plans to open a 300,000-tonne electric steel plate facility by October next year and a 1.8 million tonne cold-rolled mill in June 2014 in Maharashtra.
New York to use Nissan cabs
Nissan Motor Co is supplying New York City with fuel-efficient cabs, including six electric cars for testing, but acknowledged uncertainties about the ongoing war over charging standards for electric vehicles. Nissan yesterday said its gasoline-engine NV200 vehicles, painted yellow, will start operating as New York taxis in October next year. Six Leaf electric vehicles will be part of a pilot program this year.
Marubeni to buy Gavilon
Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp is to buy US grains merchant Gavilon for US$3.6 billion excluding debt, the company said yesterday. Gavilon is the third-biggest US grain merchant in terms of the size of its marketing network, behind Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill, and also has large energy and fertilizer trading assets. Marubeni, Japan’s fifth-largest trading company, had been in advanced talks to buy Gavilon since early this month.
Prudential names new chair
UK insurer Prudential PLC has named Paul Manduca as chairman, succeeding Harvey McGrath, who is retiring. Manduca has been an independent non-executive director of Prudential since October 2010 and became senior independent director in January last year. Prudential said on Monday that Manduca would assume his ￡600,000 (US$941,000) a year role on July 2, taking over from McGrath, who had weathered criticism over Prudential’s failed ￡22 billion bid for Asian insurer AIA in 2010.