Tue, Sep 18, 2012 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

FINANCE

Buffett ends cancer therapy

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has completed radiation treatment for prostate cancer, according to a newspaper owned by the larger-than-life financier. “It’s a great day for me. Today I had my 44th and last day of radiation,” the tycoon told executives of newspapers he recently acquired on Friday, according to a report on the Web site of the Omaha World-Herald. Buffett, the mastermind and chief executive of investment firm Berkshire Hathaway, announced in April that he had an early stage of the cancer and would undergo treatment. “I’ll be feeling the side effects for a few weeks yet, but I am so glad to say that’s over,” the Omaha World-Herald quoted the 82-year-old as saying.

SOUTH KOREA

Group cuts growth forecast

A state-run think-tank yesterday cut its forecast for the country’s growth this year to 2.5 percent, citing the eurozone debt crisis. The Korea Development Institute’s latest outlook is well below the government’s revised growth forecast in June of 3.3 percent, and over a percentage point below a May prediction of 3.6 percent. It said Asia’s fourth-largest economy is expected to expand 3.4 percent next year, gradually recovering from the slowdown caused by slow exports and sluggish domestic demand.

RETAIL

Major drop in store sales

Sales at South Korea’s top department stores fell for a third consecutive month last month, data showed yesterday, underlining the impact of an economic slowdown on domestic consumer demand. The sales at stores run by the country’s three major operators — Lotte, Shinsegae and Hyundai — were down 6.9 percent last month compared with the same month last year, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy. It followed a 1.3 percent drop in July and marked the third monthly sales decline in a row on a year-on-year basis. Sales at discount stores declined 3.3 percent last month from a year earlier, marking the fifth straight monthly fall.

RUSSIA

Bank makes big investment

The country’s central bank yesterday announced plans to go ahead with the long-delayed auction of a 7.58-percent stake in main lender Sberbank following a recent improvement in global market sentiment. The Bank of Russia said the sell-off would leave the state holding a 50 percent stake plus one voting share in the country’s main financial institution. A bank statement said the stake would be auctioned off in both dollars as global depository shares on the London Stock Exchange and rubles as ordinary shares appearing on Moscow’s MICEX exchange. The bidding process was expected to close tomorrow.

AUTOMAKERS

Firm OKs deal with unions

The Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union is to focus on reaching an agreement with Ford as negotiations continue with all of Detroit’s Big Three automakers as a strike deadline was looming yesterday, the head of the union said. CAW President Ken Lewenza said on Sunday that Ford has shown a willingness to reach an agreement. He said talks with Chrysler and General Motors are to continue, but high level talks are to be focused on Ford. A strike at all three automakers would affect about 20,000 workers and about 16 percent of North American auto production. The CAW represents about 4,500 workers at Ford, 8,000 workers at GM and another 8,000 at Chrysler.

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