Sat, Sep 27, 2014 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

JAPAN

Inflation target ambitious

Consumer inflation slowed further last month, official data showed Friday, stoking concerns about Tokyo’s war on deflation. The nation’s core consumer inflation, stripping out volatile fresh food prices, was 3.1 percent year-on-year, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said. Excluding the impact of the sales tax increase in April, the rise in core consumer prices was 1.1 percent, Dow Jones Newswires said, quoting a formula by the Bank of Japan. The rate is well short of the bank’s ambitious 2 percent inflation target for next year.

GERMANY

Consumer confidence falling

Consumer confidence in Germany is fading, weighed down by concerns about the economic fallout from geopolitical crises, market research company GfK said in a statement yesterday. Looking ahead to next month, GfK’s headline household confidence index was forecast to fall to 8.3 points from 8.6 points this month, according to GfK’s latest poll. Earlier this week, data showed the widely watched Ifo business climate index for this month fell to its lowest level in 17 months.

BANKING

LBG to sell US$260m shares

Britain’s bailed-out Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) said on Thursday that it will sell another tranche of shares in its TSB division. LBG said in a statement that it will offload 11.5 percent of TSB, or 57.5 million shares, worth about £160 million (US$260 million), in a placing to institutional investors. “Following the sale, the group expects to retain approximately 50 percent of the issued share capital of TSB,” LBG said. The group itself remains 25 percent-owned by the British government.

AUTOMAKERS

Chrysler recalls cars

Chrysler recalled almost 350,000 older-model cars on Thursday over an ignition-switch problem that could cause a loss of engine power or reduced braking power. The company said it knew of one “minor” accident that was possibly related to the problem, but that it was “unaware of any related injuries.” Chrysler’s safety recall affects 349,442 model-year 2008 cars, made before May 12, 2008. A majority of 292,224 were in the US.

SPORTSWEAR

World Cup boosts Nike sales

Nike Inc, the world’s largest sporting-goods maker, posted first-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates after the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament boosted sales. Net income in the quarter which ended on Aug. 31 rose 23 percent to US$962 million, or US$1.09 a share, from US$779 million, or US$0.86 a share, a year earlier, the Oregon-based company said on Thursday. Total sales in the quarter rose 15 percent to US$7.98 billion, Nike said.

MEMORY CHIPS

Micron sales rise 49%

Micron Technology Inc, the largest US maker of computer memory chips, said fiscal fourth-quarter sales rose 49 percent, exceeding analysts’ estimates, as corporate demand for personal computers boosted prices. Revenue in the period which ended on Aug. 28 climbed to US$4.23 billion, the Idaho-based company said in a regulatory filing on Thursday. Profit excluding certain costs was US$0.82 a share. Micron is the only remaining US manufacturer of DRAM semiconductors that provide the main memory in PCs. The company’s other main business is producing and selling NAND flash chips.

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