Fri, Dec 19, 2014 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

CHINA

Economy stabilizes: survey

The nation’s economy stabilized this quarter as services bolstered growth and manufacturing held up, making broad stimulus unwarranted, according to a private survey. The economy bottomed in the second half, according to the China Beige Book survey, published by New York-based CBB International. Companies and workers are doing better, driven by services, and the real economy does not need the “extra juice” of stimulus, the report said. The central bank cut interest rates for the first time in two years last month, and economists see more monetary easing ahead.

New Zealand

Economy sees advances

Economic growth accelerated in the third quarter more than economists and the central bank forecast, as low interest rates and record immigration stoked consumption. GDP increased 1 percent from the second quarter, when it advanced 0.7 percent, Statistics New Zealand said in Wellington yesterday. That’s more than the median forecast of 0.7 percent from a survey of 12 economists by Bloomberg News. From a year earlier, GDP rose 3.2 percent. Growth was faster than the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s 0.9 percent forecast published last week, when it signaled a prolonged pause in its tightening cycle amid lower inflation than previously projected.

BANKING

Lloyds shares to be sold

More shares in state-rescued Lloyds Banking Group PLC are to be sold over the next six months as part of its return to the private sector, the British government said on Wednesday. UK Financial Investments (UKFI), which manages the state’s bank shareholdings, said in a statement that it will seek to cut its Lloyds stake from the current level of 24.9 percent. UKFI stressed that the shares will not be sold below the average price that the previous government had paid for them, which was £0.73 per share. The sale could potentially raise more than £3 billion (US$4.7 billion) for a 5 percent stake in the bank.

ELECTRONICS

IPhone sales probed

A Canadian Federal Court on Wednesday ordered Apple Inc’s local subsidiary to hand over nearly three years’ worth of documents to a watchdog agency as part of an anti-competition probe into iPhone sales. The move comes after the Canadian Competition Bureau last week said it was poring over Apple’s contracts with local wireless carriers to determine if the company illegally stifled competition when it introduced the smartphone. The agency is particularly interested in determining whether Apple used its global clout to pressure operators into not lowering the price of competing handsets.

ITALY

Money launderers arrested

The financial police on Wednesday arrested 18 people suspected of making illicit cash transfers totaling more than 1 billion euros (US$1.231 billion), most of them to China through a British company. The suspects are accused of having laundered profits from the import of counterfeit goods made in China through money-transfer agencies, defrauding tax authorities in the process, police said. The suspects were described as mostly Rome-based ethnic Chinese who were known to police. To move their allegedly ill-gotten gains, the businessmen reportedly used British cash transfer company Sigue Global Services Ltd and ensured the amounts of each transaction did not exceed levels that require a declaration to authorities under international rules.

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