Vietnam probes riot
Vietnamese police yesterday said they had launched an investigation into a riot at a multibillion dollars Samsung factory that left 13 people injured, four critically. Violence broke out between security guards and construction workers early on Thursday in Thai Nguyen Province where the South Korean firm is building a US$3.2 billion high-tech complex. According to reports in state-run media, the violence was sparked when a worker, who had arrived late, was beaten by guards when he tried to enter the site. Hundreds of other workers then hurled bricks and rocks at the guards before setting fire to containers being used as offices and dozens of motorbikes.
Inflation rose in November
Annual inflation in advanced countries picked up to 1.5 percent in November last year from 1.3 percent the previous month, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said on Thursday. The increase was mainly due to an increase in energy prices, but still left consumer price inflation below last year’s peak of 2 percent recorded in July in the organization’s members. Annual inflation jumped to 1.5 percent in Japan in November from 1.1 percent in October, its highest rate since October 2008. In the eurozone, annual inflation rose to 0.8 percent in November from 0.7 percent in October, while in the US inflation climbed to 1.2 percent from 1 percent. Britain’s inflation dipped to 2.1 percent from 2.2 percent.
Orange buys gaming shares
French telecom operator Orange announced that it had bought a share in Japanese mobile gaming company G-cluster Global as it confirms its push into providing content across several platforms. G-cluster is a leading developer of mobile and cloud gaming technology and already provides the gaming software for Orange’s about 3 million TV clients in France. The technology developed by G-cluster allows users to play console-like games across a number of platforms. The investment by Orange is part of a G-cluster capital-raising round and will help it expand into international markets.
IMF wary of EU banks
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said on Thursday that question marks remain over the health of Europe’s banks and that coming stress tests are a chance to build confidence in them. In an article published online by Project Syndicate, Lagarde said Europe is “at a key juncture,” showing signs of recovery, but stuck with “uneven and unbalanced” growth. “While many countries are doing well, demand in general remains weak, and unemployment in the periphery remains obstinately high, particularly for young people,” she said. “One area of uncertainty for Europe is the health of its banks.”
Swatch predicts good year
Swatch Group AG yesterday forecast a positive year after last year’s revenue rose 8.3 percent. The biggest Swiss watchmaker said it “expects good results for 2013 at operating profit and net income level... Based on the strong start by all brands in the first few days of January, dynamic growth is expected for the entire year 2014.” Gross revenue advanced to 8.82 billion Swiss francs (US$9.7 billion) last year, it said. That compares with the SF8.86 billion median of 12 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Exchange-rate swings cut more than SF100 million from second-half sales, Swatch said.