EADS loses S Korea jet bid
European aerospace consortium EADS has been eliminated from a bid to provide fighter jets worth US$7.3 billion to South Korea due to a failure to meet some requirements, a report said yesterday. The Eurofighter was dropped from the bid also sought by US company Boeing after Seoul’s military found that the EADS proposal did not meet its key demands, Yonhap news agency said. It cited an unidentified official at the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA). Seoul is seeking 45 one-seater aircraft and 15 two-seaters, but EADS proposed only six two-seater aircraft, which are costly to produce, due to budget problems, Yonhap said. DAPA will submit the proposal from the remaining bidder for a final review by top military officials, the official added, indicating Boeing’s F-15 Silent Eagle would be the only candidate.
Rudd warns over economy
Embattled Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd yesterday warned the country faced the risk of a recession if the conservative opposition are elected at next month’s polls. Rudd said opposition leader Tony Abbott, who is the frontrunner to win the Sept. 7 election, would slash A$70 billion (US$64 billion) from government spending if elected prime minister and weaken the economy. Abbott has denied the figure, describing it as “simply a fantasy,” but has not yet revealed his policy costings. Rudd said analysis by Finance Minister Penny Wong had found the conservatives needed to make cuts of A$69 billion to A$71 billion to fund its promises.
Home sales boom
US home sales probably increased last month to the highest level in more than three years as growing demand for residential real estate bolsters the expansion, economists said before reports this week. Combined purchases of existing and new homes climbed to a 5.64 million annualized pace last month, the fastest clip since November 2009, according to the median forecasts of economists in a Bloomberg survey. Another report may show the world’s largest economy is poised to strengthen. Improving sales, even as borrowing costs rise, and a limited supply of homes, lots and materials are helping boost home values and builder confidence. The waning effects of across-the-board federal spending cuts, combined with gains in the housing and auto markets, will probably help lift economic growth in the second half of the year. Sales of previously owned homes rose to a 5.15 million annualized pace last month from 5.08 million in June, according to the median forecast of 59 economists surveyed before the National Association of Realtors’ report on Aug. 21.
Agency chairman sacked
Authorities yesterday dismissed the chairman of its privatization agency HRADF after a newspaper reported that he traveled on the private plane of a businessman who just bought a state company. Stelios Stavridis is the second head of HRADF to leave in less than six months, reigniting controversy around the ailing privatization program which is a key part of its international bailout. An official said the dismissal followed a report in Proto Thema on Saturday that Stavridis last week traveled on the private plane of shipowner Dimitris Melissanidis, a major shareholder of a Greek-Czech consortium which in May agreed to buy a 33 percent stake in state gambling firm OPAP.