Sun, Aug 10, 2014 - Page 15 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

CHINA

Inflation stays at 23 percent

China’s consumer price index (CPI) rose 2.3 percent last month from a year earlier, well below the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) target of 3.5 percent for the year. The latest inflation rate was unchanged from June, according to data released yesterday by China’s National Bureau of Statistics. The rise in the index was driven largely by higher food prices, which increased by 3.6 percent. Prices for fruits and eggs rose the fastest. Experts predict the inflation rate is to stay stable this year, leaving room for interest rate cuts or other measures to stimulate the economy if necessary.

PHARMACEUTICALS

Tekmira shares surge

Shares of Canadian company Tekmira Pharmaceuticals surged on Friday after US officials loosened restrictions on the use of its experimental drug to treat the Ebola virus. Tekmira shares traded 36.1 percent higher at US$19.42 a share. Tekmira announced on Thursday that the US Food and Drug Administration had “verbally confirmed” that it had shifted the classification of its TKM-Ebola treatment to a partial clinical hold from a full clinical hold. “This action enables the potential use of TKM-Ebola in individuals infected with Ebola virus,” the company said.

MACROECONOMICS

IMF to bail out Ghana

The IMF said on Friday it is ready to aid Ghana after the country formally requested assistance to surmount fiscal and economic challenges. The fund gave no information on how much money the Ghanaian authorities are requesting to bridge a deep financing gap that has resulted in a plunge in its currency. Earlier this week Ghanaian President John Mahama said his country needs help to make structural adjustments, including to the huge government wage bill, so that it can balance its budget.

INSURANCE

Premiums climb for Sherpas

Foreign mountaineers are to have to spend more for the insurance cover of their Sherpa guides to climb any Himalayan peak in Nepal including Mount Everest, the Indian government said. An ice avalanche on Mount Everest in April killed 16 Sherpa guides in the biggest disaster in the history of the world’s tallest mountain. Tourism Ministry official Dipendra Paudel said that insurance cover for the guides would be raised to US$15,000 from US$10,000. Medical insurance for each guide has also been increased to US$4,000 from US$3,000. The new rates, to apply for all mountains including the 8,850m Everest, would come into force from next month, Paudel said.

AUTOMAKERS

GM recalls hit 29.1 million

General Motors Co (GM) on Friday recalled more than 300,000 vehicles, most of them to address ignition problems, taking to over 29 million the number of GM cars recalled this year. GM, which faces a number of government probes over its handling of ignition switch problems linked to at least 13 deaths, recalled around 215,000 model year 2002 to 2004 Saturn VUEs because the ignition key can be removed when it is not in the off position. That could lead to unintended vehicle motion, resulting in a possible crash, according to the automaker. GM said it is aware of two crashes and one injury potentially related to the problem. With Friday’s announcement, GM has recalled about 29.1 million vehicles this year.

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