Mon, Jan 26, 2015 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

ENERGY

China coal production drops

China recorded its first drop in coal production since 2000 last year, as the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter reduces its use of coal and switches to cleaner energy sources. According to China’s National Coal Association, China produced 3.5 billion tonnes of coal in the first 11 months of last year, 2.1 percent less than the same period in 2013. The association estimates the drop for the entire year would reach 2.5 percent. The report, quoted by Xinhua news agency on Friday, said the profits of major Chinese coal companies dropped 44 percent in that same period to 110.5 billion yuan (US$17.73 billion) amid low global coal prices.

TRADE

Japan to buy more US rice

Japan has offered to import more rice from the US in a compromise aimed at pushing forward the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Nikkei Business Daily reported yesterday. The report, citing unidentified sources, said Japan was offering to increase its tariff-free quota for imported rice and import “tens of thousands” of tonnes of additional rice from the US. It plans to maintain existing rice tariffs, it said. In turn, the US has dropped its request that Japan ease safety standards on car imports, the report said.

RETAIL

Cairo Carrefour recovers

The owner of Carrefour SA’s franchise for the Middle East is to pursue expansion in Egypt after business at a shopping mall in Cairo’s suburbs has recovered from looting seen during the 2011 revolt that ended former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s rule. “There is probably no worse challenge than 2011 when the mall was looted,” Majid Al Futtaim Holding LLC chief executive officer Iyad Malas said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “We decided to reinstate the asset, all the tenants came back, trading has come back, actually it’s better than pre-crisis level.” The company plans to open another mall — Mall of Egypt — in the first quarter of next year, Malas said.

MACROECONOMICS

UK to release GDP forecast

Britain’s economic growth forecasts for the fourth quarter of last year range from 0.5 percent to 0.8 percent growth, according to a Bloomberg survey. For the full year, GDP was estimated to have risen 2.6 percent, according to a separate poll. Britain’s Office for National Statistics is set to publish the estimate for the quarter, which is to be based on about 44 percent of the data that will become available, at 9:30am tomorrow.

AVIATION

IAG improves Aer Lingus bid

Officials say the parent company of British Airways has made a third, improved takeover approach to Irish airline Aer Lingus Group PLC and an announcement of the offer is expected today. The 2.5 euro per share offer by International Airlines Group (IAG) values the Dublin-based carrier at 1.3 billion euros (US$1.45 billion). Over the past month Aer Lingus has rejected two lower-priced proposals from IAG. IAG and Aer Lingus officials confirmed the value of Friday’s improved offer to reporters. The companies are expected to disclose details of the transaction today at announcements to stock exchanges in London and Dublin. Aer Lingus’ two biggest shareholders are Ryanair Holdings PLC and the Irish government.

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