Brokerages boost intake
Nomura Holdings Inc and Daiwa Securities Group Inc have hired the most university graduates in four years, leading a resurgence in recruitment by Japanese brokerages as the economic outlook improves. About 650 recruits joined Nomura’s domestic securities unit yesterday, 6 percent more than last year, with most to be assigned to retail operations, said Kenji Yamashita, a spokesman for Japan’s largest brokerage. Daiwa boosted its intake by 50 percent to about 450, spokesman Hiroharu Misawa said. The country’s seven largest brokerages increased graduate recruitment by 6 percent to 2,150 in total this year, according to company data compiled by Bloomberg.
S Korea inflation slows
South Korean inflation slowed to its lowest pace for seven months last month, state data showed yesterday, leaving more room for future monetary easing to boost the economy. The consumer price index for last month rose 1.3 percent from a year ago — slower than 1.4 percent reported in February and the slowest on-year growth since August last year — according to data from the state-run Statistics Korea. The index fell 0.2 percent from the previous month, compared to a 0.3 percent monthly increase in February. Core inflation that excludes volatile food and fuel prices rose 1.5 percent on-year last month compared to a 1.3 percent rise in February.
Inflation surpases limit
Inflation accelerated to 5.90 percent year-on-year last month, surpassing the upper limit of the central bank’s target range due to an increase in food prices, official data showed yesterday. The rise in the consumer price index was well above the bank’s target range of between 3.5 percent and 5.5 percent for this year, and quicker than the 5.31 percent recorded in February. The statistics office said the increase was driven by surging food prices after the government introduced measures several months ago to limit imports of several products.
Tesla Motors reports profit
Tesla Motors Inc, the electric carmaker headed by billionaire Elon Musk, said it turned profitable in the first quarter, citing higher-than-expected sales of its Model S sedan. Tesla reached “full profitability” as Model S sales were more than 250 units higher than the 4,500 that the company estimated in the middle of February, the automaker said in a statement on Sunday, without specifying the profit figure. The average analyst estimate compiled by Bloomberg calls for a loss of US$0.11 a share, excluding several items. Tesla has forecast deliveries of the battery-powered Model S would rise to a record 20,000 this year.
Deal to begin next month
A free-trade agreement between South Korea and Turkey is to go into effect next month, the latest in a wide-ranging series of trade pacts negotiated by export-dependent South Korea, officials said yesterday. The pact is to remove import tariffs on nearly all products of both countries within the next 10 years, the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said. It deals only with products as the two nations have yet to complete negotiations on services and investment, the ministry said. South Korea has already signed free-trade deals with the US, the EU, India, ASEAN, Singapore, Peru, Chile and the European Free Trade Association.