No new stimulus from BOJ
The Bank of Japan (BOJ) yesterday held off announcing any fresh measures to stimulate the economy, offering the upbeat view that it was “recovering moderately” while efforts to stoke inflation were taking hold. The decision comes despite a sharp slowdown in July-to-September growth that raised concerns about the strength of recovery in the world’s third-largest economy and fueled speculation that the BOJ would expand its asset-purchasing scheme. “Japan’s economy has been recovering moderately,” the BOJ said in a statement, adding that “inflation expectations appear to be rising on the whole.”
Brazil says WTO compliant
Brazil on Thursday denied EU charges it engages in protectionism and said it would show its trade programs conform to WTO rules. The EU took Brazil to the WTO on Thursday, complaining it was using taxes to discriminate against imports and illegally help its exporters. The European Commission cited a 2011 case in which Brazil imposed a 30 percent tax increase on imported vehicles. The tax was due to expire at the end of last year, but was extended in amended form for five further years.
Germany to borrow less
The German government says it will borrow less money than planned this year, as low unemployment fuels a steady increase in tax income. Current plans call for new borrowing this year of 25.1 billion euros (US$34.3 billion). In its monthly report yesterday, the finance ministry said it now “appears assured” that the government will not need to borrow all of that. Tax revenue last month was up 3.9 percent from a year earlier at 39.48 billion euros. For the first 11 months, it rose 3.3 percent to nearly 495 billion euros.
S Africa halts exploration
South Africa has suspended oil and gas exploration off the east coast following a complaint over the impact of underwater sound pollution on sea life, an official said on Thursday. The government-run Petroleum Agency of South Africa halted seismic surveys along a pristine stretch of coast pending discussions between global oil firms and an environmentalist who blew the whistle on the out-of-season tests.
Telstra selling CSL stake
Australia’s Telstra Corp yesterday said it was selling its Hong Kong mobile phone business to billionaire Richard Li’s (李澤楷) telecom company in a deal worth US$2.4 billion. Telstra said it would earn about A$2 billion (US$1.8 billion) from selling its 76.4 percent stake in CSL to Li’s HKT Ltd, which is also buying the other 23.6 percent from another company, New World Development. The deal allows Li’s company, which already owns a separate mobile operator, to beef up its presence in the territory’s saturated mobile market. It also lets Telstra make a profitable exit ahead of a shakeup by Hong Kong’s telecommunications regulator aimed at boosting competition.
Nike Q2 beats estimates
Nike Inc, the world’s largest sporting-goods company, posted second-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates as higher-priced shoes boosted sales. Net income in the three months through November rose 40 percent to US$537 million, or US$0.59 a share, from US$384 million, or US$0.42, a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Profit excluding some items was US$0.59 a share.