AIG sells 90% of ILFC
American International Group Inc (AIG) says it will sell up to 90 percent of its airplane leasing unit International Lease Finance Corp (ILFC) to an investor group led by Weng Xianding (翁先定), chairman of New China Trust Co (新華信託), for approximately US$5.28 billion. The investor group, which includes New China Trust, China Aviation Industrial Fund (中國航空產業基金) and P3 Investments Ltd, will acquire 80.1 percent of ILFC for approximately US$4.23 billion, with an option for an additional 9.9 percent stake. AIG will keep at least 10 percent of the company. ILFC will remain based in Los Angeles. The agreement needs approval from US and Chinese regulatory authorities.
PPR acquires jewelery brand
The French owner of the Gucci label, PPR, announced late on Sunday that it had acquired a “majority” stake for an undisclosed amount in rising Chinese luxury jewelery brand Qeelin (麒麟). PPR said the transaction should be completed next month and that Qeelin has “tremendous intrinsic growth potential.” Hong Kong-based Qeelin has developed a network of boutiques in prestigious shopping districts around the world. It currently operates 14 stores. While most are in China or Hong Kong, it also has boutiques in London and Paris.
Bank confirms forecast
The central bank said yesterday it expected the eurozone’s second-largest economy to shrink by 0.1 percent in the last quarter of this year compared with the third, repeating a forecast it made in October. Reporting results of an economic survey last month, the Bank of France also said its industrial climate indicator dipped a further 1 point to 91, while a similar measure of sentiment in the services sector held steady at 91. GDP grew 0.2 percent in the third quarter, contrary to predictions that the economy would stagnate or even shrink, but economists said the outlook was gloomy.
Trade surplus contracts
The nation’s trade surplus contracted in October as imports grew faster than exports, official data showed yesterday. Europe’s biggest economy exported goods worth a total 92.8 billion euros (US$119.8 billion) in seasonally-adjusted terms in October, an increase of 0.2 percent from September, the national statistics office Destatis said. Imports, on the other hand, grew by 2.5 percent to 77.6 billion euros, so that the seasonally adjusted trade surplus fell to 15.2 billion euros in October from 16.9 billion euros in September. Taking the 10 months to October as a whole, however, Exports rose by 4.8 percent to 924.4 billion euros, this time in unadjusted terms, while imports were up 1.7 percent at 752.2 billion euros.
India car sales fall
India’s car sales slid more than 8 percent last month from a year earlier, industry data showed yesterday, underscoring the overall slowdown gripping Asia’s third-largest economy. Domestic car sales fell 8.25 percent to 158,257 units last month, according to India’s Society of Automobile Manufacturers. Two months ago, the industry group slashed its car sales growth forecast for the financial year to March next year to between 1 and 3 percent from an earlier 10 to 12 percent forecast. Commercial vehicle sales, another key pointer to economic vigor, tumbled 7.3 percent to 61,410 last month, SIAM figures show.