Madrid props up Bankia
Spain has made a 4.5 billion euro (US$5.7 billion) non-cash injection into Bankia, a money-losing, state-rescued lender at the heart of the nation’s financial crisis. Madrid moved urgently to shore up Bankia’s depleted coffers, delivering the capital as an advance payment on a eurozone banking rescue loan of up to 100 billion euros that was agreed in June. The state-backed Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring acted on Wednesday, Bankia and its parent group Banco Financiero de Ahorros said in statements issued the same day.
Bangkok cuts export growth
Thailand’s Ministry of Finance slashed its forecast for export growth this year to 4.5 percent from 12.8 percent as Europe’s debt crisis erodes demand for the nation’s electronics, textiles, rice and rubber. Economic growth may also fall short of the ministry’s 5.7 percent projection, Somchai Sujjapongse, head of the Ministry of Finance’s fiscal policy office, said in Bangkok yesterday.
Manila, NZ retain key rate
The Philippine central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low of 3.75 percent, in line with expectations it will hold fire before it cuts rates at least one more time by the end of the year. New Zealand’s central bank yesterday also held interest rates at a record low 2.5 percent, citing slowing growth in China and ongoing uncertainty in Europe. The official cash rate has been at 2.5 percent since March last year.
SNB cuts GDP forecast
The Swiss National Bank (SNB) yesterday kept its low key rate unchanged and said the current global economic climate was forcing it to cut its economic growth outlook for this year. The Swiss central bank’s target range for the franc’s three-month London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) would remain unchanged at 0 percent to 0.25 percent, a bank spokesman said in a conference call with reporters. The SNB said it now expected the country’s GDP this year to tick in at 1.0 percent, compared with its previous estimate of 1.5 percent.
Nestle sees China sales up
Nestle SA, the world’s largest food company, said China sales would probably grow about 20 percent this year because of rising wages and the government’s policy to boost local consumption. The slowing growth of Asia’s biggest economy has not affected the local operations of the Vevey, Switzerland-based company, which has seen expansion in most of its businesses, including dairy products and coffee, Greater China chairman Roland Decorvet said in an interview yesterday. Nestle’s China sales increased by more than 20 percent last year and will grow by a double-digit percentage next year, he said.
New Wii out in December
Nintendo Co, the world’s biggest video-game machine maker, will sell its new Wii U console in Japan beginning in December for at least ￥26,250 (US$338) as the company tries to recover from its first annual loss. Nintendo will also sell a premium version for ￥31,500 starting on Dec. 8, president Satoru Iwata said in a Web cast yesterday. The company faces growing competition from games played online and on smartphones from companies including Apple Inc, which will begin selling the iPhone 5 next week.