Fri, May 23, 2014 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

GERMANY

Economy maintains growth

The economy maintained its momentum this month as services growth surged to the fastest pace in almost three years, countering a slowdown at factories. A purchasing managers’ index of both industries held at 56.1 this month, close to the highest level in three years, Markit Economics said in London yesterday. It also said the drop in the manufacturing index does not alter the outlook for “solid” economic growth this quarter. The factory gauge remains above the 50 level that indicates expansion. The services PMI rose to 56.4 from 54.7 last month. That is the highest reading since June 2011, while the factory gauge dropped to 52.9 from 54.1, a sharper decline than was anticipated.

INTERNET

Sina Corp losses jump

Chinese Internet portal Sina Corp (新浪) says first-quarter losses more than doubled as it booked a US$40 million charge stemming from the stock listing of its Weibo (微博) microblog unit. Sina lost US$33.2 million in the January-to-March period, up from US$13.2 million a year earlier. Revenue rose by more than one-third to US$171.5 million. Weibo, reporting its first earnings since going public, said on Wednesday that its first-quarter loss also more than doubled to US$47.4 million, because of the same non-cash charge. Revenue grew by about two and half times to 67.5 million.

PROPERTY

Zoopla to list shares

British property Web site Zoopla plans to list its shares as its majority owner Daily Mail & General Trust moves to tap into the strong sentiment around the country’s property sector. The country’s second-largest property Web site said yesterday that shares held by its existing owners would be sold giving a free float of at least 25 percent. It will not issue new shares.

MINING

Fortescue warns strikers

Fortescue warned yesterday that a potential strike by tugboat deckhands could shut down its Australian iron ore operations. Maritime Union of Australia members employed by tugboat operator Teekay Marine at Port Hedland in Western Australia voted last week to walk out if they are unable to agree to pay and conditions. On Wednesday, BHP Billiton’s iron ore president Jimmy Wilson said a strike would impact Australian exports and the company was pursuing legal options to prevent industrial action.

INNOVATION

Smoke alarms recalled

The US Product Safety Commission on Wednesday issued a recall notice for 440,000 smoke and carbon monoxide alarms by Nest, a technology-driven start-up acquired by Google earlier this year. Nest last month disclosed that a “wave” feature that lets people disable alert sounds by flailing their arms could also accidentally be triggered by other gestures. Nest offered refunds and released software disabling the feature. It said there have been no reports of incidents, injury or damage related to the wave feature.

GAMING

ZeniMax to sue Oculus

US giant ZeniMax Media on Wednesday said it is suing virtual reality headgear star Oculus VR, recently bought by Facebook. ZeniMax, whose empire includes Bethesda Softworks and id Software, filed a suit in a US federal court in Texas accusing Oculus of misappropriating trade secrets relating to virtual reality and infringing on copyrights. Oculus vowed a vigorous defense against the lawsuit.

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