Tue, Feb 03, 2015 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

MANUFACTURING

Indian PMI hits recent low

Factory output last month eased to a three-month low as new business slowed, a key survey showed yesterday, suggesting that more steps are needed from New Delhi to boost growth. Banking giant HSBC said that its purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to 52.9 points last month, down from a two-year high of 54.5 the previous month. “The slip can partly be attributed to consolidation after two months of impressive upticks. New orders, both from domestic and international sources, also continued to grow, though at a slower pace than in December [last year],” HSBC chief India economist Pranjul Bhandari said, adding that she hoped the Reserve Bank of India would announce “upfront rate cuts,” as growth in Asia’s No. 3 economy continues to be “sluggish” amid cooling inflation and falling global commodity prices.

ECONOMY

Indonesian inflation slows

The inflation rate slowed last month, official data showed yesterday, after the cost of fuel in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy fell amid lower oil prices. Inflation rose 6.96 percent year-on-year, slowing from an 8.36 percent rise in December last year, according to data from Statistics Indonesia. The rate had accelerated in recent months after the new government reduced huge subsidies on gasoline and diesel, pushing up the cost of transportation and delivering goods. However, after the price of oil began its slide, the government scrapped the gasoline subsidy and put a fixed subsidy on diesel. Due to lower global oil prices letting fuel float with the market reduced costs, which has fed through to lower inflation, analysts said.

GAMBLING

Macau maintains slide

Casino revenues in the world’s top global gambling market fell for an eighth straight month last month as Chinese high-rollers were deterred by China’s economic slowdown and Beijing’s corruption crackdown. Data posted yesterday on the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau Web site showed that gross gambling revenue last month declined 17.4 percent from a year earlier to 23.7 billion patacas (US$2.97 billion). Annual revenue last year fell 2.6 percent to US$44 billion. The decline came after a decade of supercharged growth that began when the former Portuguese colony ended a 40-year casino monopoly, opening the door to foreign operators. Chinese patrons have powered Macau’s casino growth, but started staying away last year, as the nation’s economy sputtered and Beijing’s massive corruption crackdown forced many to rein in spending.

THAILAND

Fire hits Chinese factory

A massive fire that engulfed a tire plant in an industrial park in eastern Thailand caused about US$40 million in losses for one of China’s largest tire exporters, officials said yesterday. The fire, which started on Sunday night, destroyed six out of 15 warehouses in the Linglong International Tire (Thailand) (玲瓏輪胎) compound in Chonburi Province, part of Thailand’s eastern seaboard, Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand Governor Verapong Chaiperm said. He said the cause of the blaze was not immediately known, as police officers were waiting for plumes of smoke to die down before investigating the scene. Verapong said that no casualties were reported, but added that the fire forced the company to shut the plant for two days. Linglong is one of China’s biggest tire makers and exporters. The plant is the firm’s first outside of China and started producing tires for vehicles last year.

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