Fri, Apr 10, 2015 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take



Satyam CEO convicted

A court yesterday convicted the former chief executive of outsourcing giant Satyam Computer Services Ltd and his aides over a US$2.25 billion accounting fraud scandal dubbed “India’s Enron,” prosecutors said. Byrraju Ramalinga Raju, his brother and eight others were found guilty of manipulating Satyam’s books in 2009. Raju faces a life sentence after being charged with criminal conspiracy and breaching public trust in a scam that prosecutors said caused 140 billion rupees (US$2.25 billion) in losses to investors.


Growth forecast cut to 3.1%

The central bank yesterday slashed its economic growth forecast for this year for the second time this year, to 3.1 percent, and predicted annual inflation would come in at just 0.9 percent, compared with the bank’s earlier forecast of 1.9 percent. The monthly monetary meeting of the Bank of Korea also left its benchmark interest rate unchanged for this month, following a surprise 25 basis point reduction the previous month.


Next year’s forecast cut

The economy will expand at a slower rate than earlier thought next year and in 2017, the finance ministry said in new forecasts published on Wednesday. Growth is expected to reach 1.5 percent for both years, rather than 1.7 percent previously forecast for next year and 1.9 percent for 2017. However, the ministry maintained its growth forecast for this year at 1 percent. It also reiterated that France is on course to bring down its public deficit to the EU limit of 3 percent of output by 2017.


Olsen to head merged firms

The boards of France’s Lafarge SA and Switzerland’s Holcim Ltd have approved Eric Olsen for the role of chief executive officer once the firms merge, creating the world’s biggest cement company. The 51-year-old French and American national is currently executive vice president for operations at Lafarge, Holcim said in a statement yesterday. The merger still must be approved by two-thirds of shareholders at each of the two companies at special general assemblies.


Uniqlo net profit up 56.2%

The operator of Japanese fast-fashion brand Uniqlo yesterday said that robust foreign sales and a weaker yen had given a more than 50 percent boost to its half-year net profit. For the six months to the end of February, Fast Retailing said net profit reached ¥104.7 billion (US$871 million), a 56.2 percent rise from the ¥67.1 billion logged a year ago. Operating profit climbed 40.2 percent to ¥150.1 billion on sales of ¥949.7 billion, which was up 24.2 percent from the same period the previous year.


YouTube to offer subscription

YouTube will soon give viewers the option of paying a monthly fee to skip ads. On Wednesday, the company sent a letter to its most-popular content creators asking them to sign off on new contract terms to allow for the change. It is not clear when the option will be offered or how much the fee will be. The streaming video service owned by Google Inc first offered pay channels in May 2013 and also launched a paid subscription, ad-free music service called Music Key to select participants in November last year.

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