Wed, Jan 15, 2014 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

ENERGY

JGC to build gas plant

Japanese engineering conglomerate JGC Corp said yesterday it has won a contract to help build a Canadian liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in a deal reportedly worth US$9.4 billion. JGC said its joint venture with US-based Fluor Corp was awarded the tender by Chevron Canada to design and build the Kitimat LNG plant in the western province of British Columbia. Chevron and Apache Canada each hold a 50 percent interest in the proposed plant, which will have an annual capacity of 11 million tonnes of LNG, according to a JGC statement.

MINING

Goldcorp in hostile bid

Canadian mining giant Goldcorp on Monday proposed one of the biggest mining sector deals in more than a year in announcing a C$2.6 billion (US$2.4 billion) hostile bid for Quebec’s Osisko Mining. The offer of 0.146 Goldcorp shares plus C$2.26 in cash for each Osisko common share (a total value of C$5.95) is a 15 percent premium over Osisko’s closing price on Friday, Goldcorp said in a statement. Vancouver-based Goldcorp is Canada’s second-largest gold company, after Barrick, with a dozen mines operating in the Americas and several more in development, including its Ilionore mine in Quebec Province, which is slated to start production later this year.

ECONOMY

Spain grows faster

Spain’s economy grew by about 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, faster than the 0.1 percent seen in the previous quarter, Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said on Monday. “The recovery is fragile, but it is a recovery,” he told a parliamentary hearing. The Spanish economy returned to growth in the three months to September last year, putting an end to a recession that lasted over two years, ravaged public finances and left one-in-four workers without a job. Spain’s conservative government is forecasting a 1.3 percent economic contraction for last year and 0.7 percent growth this year, a pace considered by many analysts to be insufficient to lead to net job creation.

ECONOMY

Japan’s imports increase

Japan’s current account deficit in November last year tripled year-on-year to a record US$5.7 billion as a weak yen pushed up the country’s post-Fukushima energy bills, official data showed yesterday. The shortfall in the current account hit ¥592.8 billion, easily eclipsing a deficit of ¥179.6 billion in the same month one year earlier. The latest data marked the largest monthly current account deficit based on comparable data stretching back to 1985, blowing past a ¥455.6 billion shortfall in January 2012, according to the Japanese finance ministry. The deficit in November last year largely stemmed from a growing trade imbalance stoked by Japan’s heavy dependence on importing pricey fossil fuels to generate electricity, while the yen’s sharp depreciation since late 2012 has also bloated costs.

SMARTPHONES

‘Moto X’ out next month

Motorola announced yesterday that its flagship “Moto X” smartphone will arrive in France, Britain and Germany next month. Prices in Britain will range from £25 (US$41) per month on contract to £380 total without a SIM card, according to the Google-owned firm. The price will be 429 euros (US$586) in France. A low-cost version of the smartphone, the Moto G, is already sold internationally.

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