Plan for Europe’s banks
European banks should be supervised by a cross-border authority providing bloc-wide deposit cover and a rescue pot funded by taxes on financial institutions, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said yesterday. The head of the EU’s executive arm told yesterday’s Financial Times newspaper that the ambitious plan could be realized by next year without the need for existing treaties to be changed.
IMF revises growth forecast
The IMF warned yesterday of likely slower growth for South Korea this year because of the faltering global economy, joining a series of think tanks which have slashed their predictions. The IMF, after its six-monthly meeting with Seoul authorities, said growth would likely be weaker than the 3.5 percent the fund projected in April, possibly down to 3.25 percent. The export-reliant economy, Asia’s fourth-largest, expanded 2.8 percent year-on-year in the first quarter — the weakest growth in two-and-a-half years.
Industrial output slows
India’s industrial output grew a weaker-than-expected 0.1 percent year on year in April, official data showed yesterday, amid growing concerns about a slowdown in the economy. The manufacturing sector, which accounts for most of the industrial production index, expanded 0.1 percent, with production of capital goods, a key indicator of investment, shrinking 16.3 percent. Data published on May 31 showed the Indian economy expanded 5.3 percent in the January-to-March period, the slowest quarterly growth figure in nine years.
Growth forecast goes up
The Swiss government raised its this year’s growth forecast yesterday, saying robust domestic demand was helping to offset the ill effects of the strong Swiss franc on exports, though a worsening of the eurozone crisis had the potential to hamper momentum. Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economics now sees growth of 1.4 percent for this year, up from a March forecast of 0.8 percent. It sees inflation at minus-0.4 percent this year. The Swiss National Bank is also expected to lift its growth forecast from “nearly 1 percent,” as the cap it imposed on the safe-haven franc last September helps shield the economy
VW eyes bigger China output
Volkswagen AG said it plans to increase production capacity to four million cars by 2018 in China, the world’s biggest vehicle market. VW called China one of its most important markets and said on Jan. 6 that it would increase annual capacity to three million cars by 2016, as part of a plan to invest 14 billion euros (US$17.5 billion) to expand Chinese production and models. VW delivered 2.3 million vehicles in the Greater China region last year. The automaker trailed General Motors Co, whose sales in China rose 8.3 percent to 2.55 million last year.
Syndicated loan for Alibaba
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) has begun signing a US$3 billion syndicated loan with a total of 19 banks today to back the privatization of its Hong Kong-listed unit and the buyback of an about 20 percent stake of itself from Yahoo Inc, two people familiar with the matter said. The loan was amended last month to allow Alibaba to eventually take on as much as US$4 billion of debt, a person familiar with the matter said on May 25.