Wed, Oct 02, 2013 - Page 15 News List

World Business Qucik Take

Agencies

SOUTH KOREA

Exports, inflation down

The country’s exports dropped 1.5 percent year-on-year to US$44.74 billion last month, largely as a result of the three-day Chuseok (Thanksgiving) holiday, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said yesterday. The trade surplus actually widened to US$3.71 billion, up from US$3.07 a year earlier, as imports fell 3.6 percent on-year to US$41.03 billion. Meanwhile, consumer prices grew at their slowest pace for 14 years last month, thanks to falls in farming costs, Statistics Korea said. The consumer price index rose 0.8 percent on-year, compared with a 1.3 percent gain in August.

BRAZIL

GDP forecast cut to 2.5%

The central bank on Monday trimmed its GDP growth forecast for this year for Latin America’s leading economy from 2.7 to 2.5 percent. In its monthly report, the bank said the GDP growth in the second quarter had come in at 1.5 percent — slightly above forecasters’ expectations — while adding it expected a strong showing in the fourth quarter. The Bank added it saw consumer demand would continue on an upward path — albeit at a more “moderate” rate amid strong investment and exports after falls in the real-dollar rate.

FRANCE

Jobseeker number revised

The Ministry of Labor on Monday cut in half the number of jobseekers it said had left the unemployment rolls in August, blaming a “malfunction” with a mobile phone company. The ministry announced last week that the number of registered jobseekers fell in August for the first time in more than two years, dropping by 50,000 to 3.23 million. However, in a fresh statement on Monday, the ministry said that after an investigation, it was revising the figure and the number of jobseekers had fallen by only between 22,000 and 29,000.

BANKING

Wells Fargo settles claim

Wells Fargo bank said it will pay US$869 million to Freddie Mac to settle claims of potential fraud in home loans it sold to the US government-controlled mortgage company. In a short statement issued on Monday night, the California-based bank said the agreement will allow it to substantially resolve liabilities on home loans it sold to Freddie Mac before 2009 and the emergence of the financial crisis.

COMPUTER GAMES

Ubisoft expands in Montreal

Video game maker Ubisoft announced on Monday the expansion of its Montreal operations with a US$373 million investment in online gaming and motion capture technologies, expected to create 500 new jobs. The earmarked monies will be spent and new staff will be hired over the coming seven years. The Paris-based company behind such video game hits as Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell said it expects to employ up to 3,500 people at its Montreal studio by 2020 — nearly half of its global production workforce in 29 countries.

PETROLEUM

Pacific Rubiales to buy firm

Canadian oil company Pacific Rubiales on Monday said it is acquiring the local firm Petrominerales for about C$1.6 billion (US$1.55 billion). The transaction is expected to be completed late next month. Pacific Rubiales is the largest private oil company operating in Colombia. Like Petrominerales, Pacific Rubiales operates in Peru and Brazil. The Canadian company is acquiring the Colombian firm’s estimated C$640 million in debt.

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