Fri, Mar 13, 2015 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take



Mexico moves to boost peso

Mexico’s central bank on Wednesday said that it plans to sell US$52 million per day over the next three months to stop the peso from sliding further after the currency reached historic lows. The daily auction comes on top of a mechanism in which the bank sells US$200 million on days that the peso drops by 1.5 percent from the previous day’s closing price. The Mexican currency was worth 15.90 pesos against the US dollar on Tuesday. The peso has depreciated by 4.8 percent since the start of the year, Mexican Finance Minister Luis Videgaray said. However, it has strengthened against the euro, the Canadian dollar and the Brazilian real.


Australia jobless rate drops

Australia’s unemployment rate eased to 6.3 percent last month as fewer people looked for jobs, data showed yesterday, but economists warned the labor market remained soft, maintaining expectations of another interest rate cut. The unemployment rate fell from 6.4 percent in January, a more-than 12-year high, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics — in line with analysts’ forecasts. About 15,600 jobs were added to the economy, with full-time positions increasing by 10,300 and part-time roles up by 5,300.


France still mired in inflation

The French economy remained stuck in deflation last month, according to official figures published yesterday, with consumer rices down 0.3 percent last month compared to the same period last year. This followed a 0.4-percent decline in annualized prices in January, the first time in five years that the economy had slipped into deflation, according to the national statistics office. However, inflation in Germany was back in positive territory last month with consumer prices rising by 0.1 percent, official data released by federal statistics office Destatis yesterday showed.


United Tech mulls spinoff

United Technologies Corp on Wednesday said that it is weighing options for its Sikorsky Aircraft division, including a possible spinoff of the maker of Black Hawk and other military and commercial helicopters. The Hartford, Connecticut, company said it has not set a timetable for any action regarding Sikorsky and that there is no guarantee it will spin off the unit. Sikorsky accounted for about US$7.5 billion of United Technologies’ total sales of US$65 billion last year. The conglomerate’s other divisions include jet engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney and Otis elevator.


Lufthansa predicts profit rise

Deutsche Lufthansa AG yesterday said it expects to see a “tangible” improvement in its underlying earnings this year after profits nosedived last year. The carrier said it expects earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to amount to “over 1.5 billion euros” (US$1.59 billion) this year, “a substantial improvement on the 2014 group operating result.” EBIT last year amounted to 1.2 billion euros.


Alibaba, SAIC to team up

SAIC Motor Corp Ltd (上海汽車) yesterday said that it would join e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) in investing 1 billion yuan (US$159.66 million) in a fund to develop Internet-connected cars. SAIC Motor did not provide details about the size of each party’s investment. Alibaba declined to provide immediate comment.

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