Sun, Jul 29, 2012 - Page 15 News List

Business Quick Take

Agencies

SPAIN

Recession to worsen: IMF

The IMF warned on Friday that the country’s recession would be worse than initially expected, with a forecast contraction of 1.7 percent this year and of 1.2 percent in 2013. In addition, the global financial body said that worsening market tensions could disrupt the country’s ability to finance itself, despite a eurozone bailout agreed for Spanish banks and emergency financial reforms for the 17-nation bloc. Meanwhile, the country’s unemployment rate rose to 24.63 percent in the second quarter, up 0.19 percentage points from the previous three months, the National Statistics Institute said.

FUEL

Canada oil firm deal frozen

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said on Friday that it froze assets of Hong Kong traders who bought stock in a Canadian company before a firm owned by the Chinese government announced plans to buy it this week. The SEC said that Well Advantage and other traders used accounts in Hong Kong and Singapore to make over US$13 million trading shares in Canadian oil and gas company Nexen Inc based on inside information. China’s CNOOC Ltd (中國海洋石油) announced plans to buy Nexen on Monday for US$15.1 billion. Zhang Zhi Rong (張志熔), a billionaire Hong Kong businessman, controls Well Advantage, according to the SEC. The agency said he also runs another company that has a “cooperation agreement” with CNOOC.

OIL

Refinery profits lift Chevron

A soaring profit at Chevron’s refineries eased some of the lower gains it saw during a weaker second quarter. The oil giant said on Friday that net income fell nearly 7 percent to US$7.21 billion, or US$3.66 per share, but that the results beat expectations after a strong performance from its refinery arm. The company’s stock price rose US$0.99 to close at US$109.26 on Friday. Like its peers, the oil giant is struggling to find and replace petroleum sources. Second quarter profits also fell for Royal Dutch Shell, Occidental Petroleum Corp and ConocoPhillips.

MEDIA

McClatchy eyes paywalls

McClatchy Co, one of the largest US newspapers groups, said on Friday it would begin moving toward paywalls for its news Web sites in response to the industry’s economic woes. The publisher of 30 dailies including the Miami Herald, Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Kansas City Star said it would begin “metered” Web access in five of its markets starting in the third quarter. The New York Times began charging in March last year for full access to NYTimes.com and it launched a subscription-only Web site for the Boston Globe in October. Gannett, the largest US newspaper chain, has also begun moving toward charging for online access at some of its dailies, along with MediaNews Group Inc.

AUTOMAKERS

Mazda in big vehicle recall

Mazda said on Friday it will recall 217,500 vehicles in the US due to a problem with unintended acceleration that led to the recall of nearly 485,000 Ford vehicles. The Mazda Tribute shares most of its parts with the Ford Escape SUV, including the faulty cruise control cable. The defect can cause the throttle to stick, causing the vehicle to speed out of control.

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