EU crisis threatens economy
The government said yesterday the country’s economy faces growing downside risks stemming from the European debt crisis, adding that it was increasingly concerned about the outlook for the export sector. In its monthly economic report for this month, the Cabinet Office said the overall economy was “on the way to recovery at a moderate pace,” but “the downward pressure on our economy through negative effects on exports and financial markets is increasing.” Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda held talks with Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa yesterday morning, Jiji Press and other media said.
Barclays searches for CEO
The deputy chairman of beleaguered bank Barclays, Mike Rake, has dropped out of the race to become the lender’s next chairman. His decision was announced yesterday by the budget airline easyJet, where Rake serves as chairman of the board. No explanation was given. EasyJet’s founder, Stelios Haji-Ioannou, said in a letter last week to shareholders that the interest rate scandal at Barclays could taint the airline and argued that Rake had too many jobs — including the chairmanship of telecommunications company BT and directorships of McGraw-Hill and the Financial Reporting Council. Marcus Agius, chairman of the troubled bank, announced his intention to resign after Barclays was fined US$453 million by US and British authorities for manipulating interest rates.
Offshores hold US$21 trillion
The world’s wealthiest individuals have stashed US$21 trillion worth of assets in offshore tax havens, equivalent to the combined GDPs of the US and Japan, a tax transparency report said on Sunday. Report author James Henry, former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey, said that the headline figure was conservative, adding that up to US$32 trillion may have found its way into havens such as the Cayman Islands and Switzerland. The report found that the top 10 private banks managed more than US$6 trillion in 2010, up from US$2.3 trillion five years earlier.
All Nippon grounds planes
All Nippon Airways (ANA) said yesterday it was repairing five Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets for an engine defect, the latest problem for the troubled airliner. The Japanese carrier grounded the planes following an announcement last week by the airplane’s engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce about a problem in its gearbox, a spokeswoman said. ANA said it immediately suspended service for two of the planes so the parts could be replaced, while it grounded another three after Boeing said more of the planes were at risk.
Samsung scores with Galaxy
Samsung Electronics Co, the world’s top smartphone maker, has sold more than 10 million units of its newest Galaxy S III model since its launch about two months ago, Yonhap news agency said on Sunday, citing J.K. Shin, head of Samsung’s mobile communications division. The South Korean company said earlier this month it expected a record operating profit of 6.7 trillion won (US$5.9 billion) in the second quarter, boosted by strong sales of its flagship Galaxy smartphones.