Sun, Jan 11, 2015 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

ECONOMY

Brazil inflation hits 6.41%

Inflation in Brazil hit 6.41 percent last year, marginally below a government ceiling of 6.5 percent, but still the highest annual figure since 2011, the National Statistical Institute (IBGE) said on Friday. Prices rose last month by 0.78 percent, above November’s 0.51 percent, but below the 0.92 percent rise in December 2013, IBGE said. The official annual target is 4.5 percent, but the central target has been missed several times in recent years. The 2013 annual figure was 5.91 percent.

CENTRAL BANKS

US Fed reports record profit

The US Federal Reserve on Friday said it had paid a record US$98.7 billion in profit to the US Treasury last year, most of it earned from its stimulus for the US economy. Under Fed policy, its 12 regional banks must pay to the federal government what is left of earnings after certain items, such as operating expenses and dividend payments, are deducted. Last year’s payment widely eclipsed the central bank’s previous record of US$88.4 billion in 2012.

CENTRAL BANKS

SNB expects record profit

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) on Friday said it expected a record profit of 38 billion Swiss francs (US$37.5 billion) last year on the back of gains from its foreign currency holding. The bank said it would make a profit of SF34 billion from its foreign currency holdings and SF4 billion from its gold holdings, according to provisional estimates. Earlier this week, data from the bank showed the total value of its foreign currency reserves had swelled to a record SF495.1 billion by the end of last month.

AVIATION

Aer Lingus rejects IAG bid

International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of British Airways and Iberia, said on Friday it had made a fresh attempt to bid for Irish carrier Aer Lingus, which was rejected. It said it submitted a second takeover approach last month, offering 2.40 euros per share, up from 2.30 euros which it offered earlier in the month. IAG, which was formed in 2011, has made several acquisitions since, including Spanish low-cost airline Vueling and Britain’s BMI.

AUTOMAKERS

China new car sales slow

Passenger-vehicle sales rose at a slower pace in China last year as economic growth moderated and more cities imposed purchase restrictions in the world’s largest auto market. Retail deliveries climbed 10 percent to 18.9 million vehicles last year, slowing from the 17 percent gain in 2013, the China Passenger Car Association said on Friday on its Web site. Minivans and SUVs remained the fastest-growing segments, while sedan sales growth fell to 5 percent from 13 percent.

AUTOMAKERS

Nissan, NASA ink R&D deal

Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co and NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California, on Thursday announced a five-year research and development partnership for autonomous vehicle systems so they can eventually be applied to commercially sold cars. Automakers besides Nissan are working on the technology, including Toyota Motor Corp, General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co.

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