Wed, Nov 06, 2013 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

INTERNET

Twitter boosts offering

Twitter boosted its public stock offering to as much as US$2 billion on Monday, suggesting strong demand for its stock and a higher overall value for the one-to-many messaging platform. The regulatory filing raises the share price for the popular messaging platform to a range of US$23 to US$25 from an earlier estimate of US$17 to US$20. The new share price range would give Twitter a market value between US$12.76 billion and US$13.87 billion.

CHINA

Fewer deals inked at show

Export contracts signed at a major trade fair in China hit their lowest in four years, state media reported, indicating foreign demand for the country’s goods is still weak. The value of export deals signed at the China Import and Export Fair reached 194.61 billion yuan (US$31.7 billion), the lowest since the depths of the financial crisis in 2009, Xinhua news agency said after the event closed on Monday. The figure also marked a fall of 3 percent from the autumn session last year and a 10.9 percent decline from the spring session this year.

UNITED STATES

Aircraft lead rise in orders

Led by aircraft orders, US factory orders rose 1.7 percent in September, ending two months of declines, the Department of Commerce said on Monday. The increase was totally due to transportation equipment, which rose 12.9 percent. Commercial aircraft orders soared 57.7 percent, and orders for ships and boats rose 29 percent. Orders for motor vehicles and equipment fell 0.7 percent. Excluding transportation, factory orders last month fell 0.2 percent from August.

INTEREST RATES

Australia maintains rates

Australia’s central bank yesterday decided to maintain interest rates at a record low of 2.5 percent, with previous cuts starting to impact on non-mining sectors. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) kept rates on pause for a third consecutive month, as widely expected. RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said the bank’s board judged that “the setting of monetary policy remained appropriate,” with the full effects of earlier cuts “still coming through, and will be for a while yet.”

AUTOMAKERS

BMW profit up 3.2% in Q3

Luxury car maker BMW AG yesterday said its net profit increased 3.2 percent in the third quarter despite difficult market conditions and high spending on new technology. The company said it earned 1.33 billion euros (US$1.8 billion) in the July-September period, up from 1.29 billion euros a year earlier. The BMW Group, which includes Mini and Rolls-Royce, saw revenues decline 0.4 percent to 18.75 billion euros from 18.82 billion euros, though car sales rose 10.7 percent to 481,657 vehicles. Earnings before interest and tax declined 3.7 percent, with the company citing high spending on new technologies, personnel costs and growing competition.

RETAIL

Food sales lift M&S profit

British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) yesterday reported a rise in half-year net profit, as solid food sales helped offset further weakness for its clothing division. Britain’s largest clothing retailer said after-tax profit grew 13.5 percent to £249.6 million (US$398 million) in the six months to September compared with a year earlier. Overall revenue rose 3.9 percent to £4.88 billion in the first half, M&S said in a statement.

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