Mon, Dec 01, 2014 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

GOLD

India eases regulations

Leading gold buyer India has announced it has eased controls on imports of the yellow metal after its current account deficit narrowed sharply. India, the world’s second-biggest gold buyer after China, imposed the import restrictions last year to avert a trade deficit crisis that pushed the rupee to record lows. “Restrictions placed on import of gold ... stand withdrawn with immediate effect,” India’s central bank said in a statement on Saturday. The so-called 80:20 import rule meant 20 percent of all imported gold had to be exported before any new shipments could be brought in.

AVIATION

Malaysia Airlines apologizes

Malaysia Airlines apologized on Saturday for a year-end promotion tweet that sparked anger on Twitter after it inadvertently drew parallels with the still-missing Flight MH370. The airlines said the tweet “was intended to inspire travelers during this holiday period to explore destinations and deals” it was offering. It is the second time the carrier, which has been devastated by the loss of 537 people in two air tragedies this year, has run into criticism over its advertising recently. The airlines on Friday reported its third-quarter loss widened 54 percent year-on-year, the seventh straight quarterly loss for the airline.

FINANCE

Lazada raises 200m euros

Lazada, the Southeast Asian e-commerce company founded by Germany’s Rocket Internet, has raised 200 million euros (US$250 million) in a new funding round led by Singapore state-owned investment company Temasek. Rocket Internet said in a statement that Temasek had joined existing investors, including Rocket, Kinnevik and Verlinvest in the funding round, which valued Lazada at 1 billion euros. Rocket said it contributed 15.3 million euros, with its stake in the business slipping to 23.8 percent from 26.7 percent. It did not say how much the other investors had contributed to the 200 million euro total or detail their stakes.

BANKING

Focus on German lenders

Consolidation of the banking sector following the European Central Bank’s stress tests would probably concentrate on German lenders, according to Commerzbank AG chief executive officer Martin Blessing. “The question now is where consolidation will happen and I assume it’ll happen within Germany, and not within the private banking sector,” he said at the Sueddeutsche Zeitung Economic Summit in Berlin on Saturday. Germany’s banking system had about 2,000 institutions last year, according to the BdB Association of German Banks. About 300 of those are private banks, including Germany’s two largest lenders, Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank, while savings banks and cooperative banks accounted for the rest.

TRADE

Canada ups grain shipments

Canada extended an order that requires the nation’s two largest railways to ship a minimum amount of grain each week until March 28. The government said the measure is to ensure that the remainder of last year’s crop is moved along with this year’s and that normal operations of the grain supply chain are maintained, according to a statement. The new order sets new weekly quotas ranging from 200,000 tonnes to 465,000 tonnes depending on the week. Failure to do so could result in penalties of as much as US$100,000 per violation.

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