Mon, Sep 08, 2014 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take



Cyprus passes bad debt bill

The Cypriot parliament on Saturday adopted a controversial bill to streamline bank foreclosures of bad debts, clearing the way for international lenders to release the next tranche of a 10 billion euro (US$13 billion) loan. The emergency vote came a day after a deadline set by the so-called troika of lenders who said that the next tranche, 436 million euros, would be withheld unless the bill was passed. The new law ensures that foreclosures cannot be indefinitely delayed, reducing the process from years to months. it also establishes procedures for valuing and auctioning properties. It allows borrowers to appeal estimated property values and obliges banks to try to restructure loans before seeking repossession of homes, while also preventing banks from arbitrarily upping the lending rate.


Wang Yi visits Australia

Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop welcomed Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) to Sydney yesterday. Australia is hosting Wang for the second annual Australia-China Foreign and Strategic Dialogue, which comes ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) visit in November for the G20 summit in Brisbane. “China is Australia’s largest two-way trading partner. We are on track to sign a free-trade agreement with China later this year which will further strengthen this relationship,” Bishop said at a news conference with Wang. The trade talks began in 2005, but stalled last year over agriculture and Beijing’s insistence on removing investment limits for state-owned enterprises. Over the past year Australia has signed free-trade agreements with Japan and South Korea. The bilateral talks follow Australia’s push to forge closer ties with Japan.


Check Point shares jump

With each successive data breach scare that has hit US-based corporations in recent weeks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co, Apple Inc and Home Depot Inc, the stock of an Israeli cyber-security giant has bounced higher. Check Point Software Technologies Ltd, the world’s second-largest network security company, reached a 13-year high of US$71.99 on Friday as investors anticipated that the spate of cyberattacks would fuel demand for its services. The stock climbed 1.4 percent last week, extending its four-week rally in New York trading to 9.4 percent. While smaller rivals like Palo Alto Networks Inc and FireEye Inc focus more specifically on the kind of data security used to prevent the recent attacks, Check Point has positioned itself to tap into the uptick in this business too. Companies’ focus on improving cybersecurity has been building since Target Corp in December last year suffered the biggest retail hack in US history.


Bombardier resumes tests

Canadian aircraft maker Bombardier Aerospace on Friday announced it is set to resume flight tests of its CSeries airplanes this month after they were interrupted following a May 29 engine failure. The company said engine maker Pratt & Whitney Canada has fixed the problem with changes to the engine’s oil lubrication system, allowing the flight tests to go ahead. The exact nature of the engine problem has not been disclosed by the company. “In spite of the flight test program pause, we are still confident that entry-into-service will take place in the second half of 2015,” Bombardier vice president Ron Dewar said. The aircraft’s entry into commercial service has already been delayed by more than a year.

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