UK to protect depositors
The British government was to announce yesterday proposals for banking reform to prevent a repeat of the crisis that forced taxpayers to bail out two major banks. The Treasury has confirmed that the government would legislate to isolate retail banking from problems that might arise from riskier investment banking activity. In a briefing ahead of the release of detailed proposals yesterday, the Treasury said individual depositors would be compensated before bondholders and corporate creditors in the event of a bank failure.
April factory output reduced
Japan yesterday revised down its factory output data for April, showing a slight contraction that underscored the nation’s anemic factory activity. Industrial production slipped 0.2 percent, rather than grew 0.2 percent from a month earlier because of lower-than-expected output of electronics parts, cosmetics and some beverages, including iced and canned coffee, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said. Shipments rose 0.6 percent during the period, down from the preliminary reading of a 0.9 percent rise, it added.
Wholesale prices rise 7.55%
Indian inflation quickened more than estimated last month, an acceleration that might fail to prevent an interest-rate cut next week to prop up slowing growth. The benchmark wholesale price index rose 7.55 percent last month from a year earlier, after climbing 7.23 percent in April, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a statement.
Hyundai wins Caracas order
Hyundai Engineering and Construction yesterday said it had won a US$1.348 billion order to expand and upgrade a Venezuelan oil refinery. Hyundai said in a statement it would undertake the 42-month project, worth a total of US$2.99 billion, jointly with China’s Wison Engineering. It said the order for work at the Puerto La Cruz refinery came from state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela. The South Korean firm has a US$10 billion target for overseas construction projects this year. As of this month, it had won US$4.3 billion in deals.
China sales strong: BASF
German chemical giant BASF yesterday said it expected sales in China to more than double within eight years thanks to fast urbanization in the world’s second-largest economy. The largest chemical firm in the world aims to achieve sales of 29 billion euros (US$36 billion) in Asia by 2020 and “roughly half of that is China,” vice chairman of the board Martin Brudermueller said. That would be more than double the company’s sales of 6.5 billion euros last year in China, the world’s top chemical market.
Hitachi to double nuclear
Hitachi yesterday said it would more than double its nuclear power business within a decade owing to growing overseas demand and post-disaster work at the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. The industrial group said the unit’s annual sales would reach ￥360 billion (US$4.5 billion) in the fiscal year to March 2021, compared with ￥160 billion for its latest fiscal year ended in March. The company added that it would develop technologies for next-generation nuclear power plants with higher safety standards.