India maintains key rate
India’s central bank surprised many yesterday by keeping its key interest rate unchanged despite the worrying rise in inflation. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) held the benchmark rate at which commercial banks borrow from it steady at 7.75 percent. It had been widely expected to raise the rate for a third time in a row after inflation last month came in worse than expected. RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan reiterated the tough balancing act, saying the decision has been a close one, especially because rising food and fuel costs drove inflation to a 14-month high of 7.5 percent last month. “Current inflation is too high. I repeat, it is too high,” Rajan said.
China outbound up 28.3%
Chinese overseas investment rose to US$80.2 billion in the first 11 months of the year, the government announced yesterday — exceeding the total for last year. Outbound investment calculated on the basis of deals closed rose 28.3 percent in January-November from the same period last year, the Ministry of Commerce said, topping the US$77.2 billion recorded during all of last year. Investment to Russia surged 685 percent during the 11-month period and also leaped 232.2 percent to the US. The ministry added that foreign direct investment in China expanded 5.48 percent year-on-year to US$105.5 billion in the first 11 months.
Hynix plans S Korea factory
SK Hynix Inc, the world’s second-largest maker of memorychips, plans to build a new factory in South Korea to meet the growing demand for mobile devices, two people familiar with the matter said. The company plans to invest at least 4 trillion won (US$3.8 billion) next year on the plant and on maintenance and technology upgrades at existing facilities, the people said, asking to not be identified because the matter is private. Construction of the new factory will begin next year, with mass production of DRAM chips starting as early as 2015, one of the people said.
Brazil’s ethanol output up
Ethanol output from Brazil’s main sugar production region is up this year, but mills face financial woes that will adversely impact future harvests, the industry said on Tuesday. The amount of sugar milled this harvest through Dec. 1 rose nearly 60 million tonnes, most of it earmarked for increased ethanol production, according to UNICA, which represents 60 percent of the country’s sugar cane producers and processors. Ethanol production soared nearly 19 percent during the period, while that of sugar edged up only 0.66 percent, it said. UNICA voiced concern about falling revenues linked to heavy debt at sugar mills. “During the past year, producers have spent nearly 15 percent of their revenues on debt servicing,” it said.
Pfizer, Teva settle dispute
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer on Tuesday announced that it settled patent litigation against Teva Pharmaceuticals over the sale of a generic version of blockbuster drug Viagra in the US. The settlement means Israel-based Teva “will be allowed to launch a generic version of Viagra in the US on December 11, 2017 or earlier under certain circumstances,” Pfizer said in a statement. “Teva will pay Pfizer a royalty for a license to produce its generic version.” Other terms of the agreement were confidential.