Sun, Jul 20, 2014 - Page 15 News List

World Business Qiuck Take

Agencies

PUBLISHING

Forbes sells majority stake

The publisher Forbes Media on Friday agreed to sell a majority stake to a consortium of Asian investors, concluding a protracted sales process in which a number of prospective bidders dropped out. The terms were not disclosed, but the transaction values Forbes Media at US$475 million, said a person close to the deal. Forbes’ new controlling shareholders are set to be Integrated Whale Media Investments (本匯鯨媒體投資公司), a group that includes the Hong Kong investor Tak Cheung Yam (任德章) and Wayne Hsieh (謝維恩), the Singaporean cofounder of AsusTek Computer Inc (華碩). The group hopes to leverage the Forbes brand, which has retained a gloss in Asia that it has lost in the US, to do deals in real estate, business clubs and financial services.

MANUFACTURING

GE reports industrial growth

General Electric Co (GE) reported second-quarter results on Friday that reflected a steady return to its industrial roots, as the giant conglomerate looks to accelerate the shift. GE, the largest industrial company in the US, said revenue from its industrial businesses, with products including jet engines, power generators, oil field machinery and medical imaging equipment, rose 7 percent. Revenue at its sizable finance unit, GE Capital, declined 6 percent. GE also announced on Friday that it intended to spin out its North American consumer-finance business, Synchrony Financial, in an initial public offering late this month. In its filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said it would sell 15 percent of the business to the public, 125 million shares, with US$24.50 a share as the midpoint of the expected price range.

MACROECONOMICS

Low inflation damaging: IMF

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde warned on Friday that low inflation could damage growth in Europe and urged the European Central Bank to maintain a flexible policy. She also urged caution over asset prices, saying they could be too high in relation to fundamentals. “Obstinately low inflation can seriously undermine growth,” said Lagarde, who recently hinted that the 3.6 percent global growth forecast for this year might have to be trimmed. The “good news,” Lagarde said, was that “European economies are beginning to emerge from the crisis.”

INNOVATION

Swiss regain top spot

Switzerland has claimed the top spot on the Global Innovation Index for the fourth consecutive year, while Sub-Saharan Africa “posted significant regional improvement.” The annual rankings, which this year focused on the role people play in the innovation process, found that Switzerland and other top-ranked countries Britain, Sweden and Finland, had strong all-round support systems that led to “high levels of creativity.” Nations of the BRICS group of emerging economies such as China, Brazil and India were catching up with the developed countries, the researchers from Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization said in a statement. “China significantly outperforms the average score of high-income economies across the combined quality indicators,” they added in a report released on the sidelines of a G20 trade ministers’ meeting in Sydney.

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