Nomura to raise salaries
Nomura Holdings Inc, Japan’s biggest brokerage, announced it is to raise salaries for about 4,000 staff in the country as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urges companies to help defeat deflation and sustain the economic recovery. Base pay at the Nomura Securities Co unit is to climb an average 2 percent starting in April next year, the Tokyo-based firm said in a statement on its Web site yesterday. The increases target younger employees, who are more likely to spend money and contribute to the world’s third-largest economy, it said. Nomura’s 2 percent pay increase is the same rate as the Bank of Japan’s target for inflation. The Bank of Japan unveiled a policy in April of doubling the monetary base in two years to achieve the goal. Regular wages excluding overtime and bonuses fell 0.6 percent in September from a year earlier, the 16th consecutive decline, labor ministry figures showed.
TPP talks closer: officials
The Asian trade powerhouse yesterday took a step closer to joining 12-nation talks aimed at slashing trade barriers between nations making up about 40 percent of the world economy. The world’s seventh-largest exporter said after a meeting of top economic officials that it would soon enter negotiations with the US, Japan, Canada and nine other nations already in the group. “[The government] expects participation in the TPP to help [the country] secure a big market spanning over the Asia-Pacific region and to allow competition with the other member countries on an equal footing,” it said in a statement. The negotiations, which have run for three years, have been mired in controversy over a lack of transparency and slowed by the conflicting interests of the negotiating countries, US lawmakers and advocacy groups.
Retail sales down again
Retail sales fell for the second consecutive month last month, official data showed yesterday. Retail sales slipped by 0.8 percent in price, calendar and seasonally adjusted terms last month compared with September, the federal statistics office Destatis said in a statement. Retail sales had already contracted by 0.2 percent in September. On a 12-month basis, too, business declined slightly for retailers, with sales showing a small decrease of 0.2 percent last month compared with the same month last year, the statisticians calculated.
Government plans IPO
The country is preparing for its first initial public offering (IPO) in more than five years as the nation recovers from 10 straight quarters of contraction that erased about 70 percent in market value. The government intends to sell 70 percent of CTT-Correios de Portugal SA next month, the first IPO since EDP-Energias de Portugal SA spun off its renewable-energy unit in June 2008. The PSI-20 Index has lost about 50 billion euros (US$68 billion) in market value since peaking in 2007 as index members dropped out and investors shunned a gauge composed of banks, utilities and construction companies stung by shrinking domestic demand. Portugal is counting on the offering to reduce debt and narrow its budget deficit as the third-most indebted member of the eurozone seeks to meet EU targets. The nation is planning to exit a rescue package in June.