UK growth indicator rises
Britain’s private sector recorded its strongest economic growth for a year in the three months to last month, according to the Confederation of British Industry, in contrast to weak official data for the first quarter of this year. The confederation yesterday said that its monthly growth indicator — based on separate surveys of manufacturers, retailers and services — rose to +33 last month from +19 in April, its highest since May last year. Services companies showed the most robust growth, with output rising at the fastest pace since early 2006. The confederation said businesses expected robust growth to continue over the next three months.
Sweden to fight stagnation
Sweden’s government is planning to reverse a 30-year stagnation in public and private investments to meet its main pledge of lowering unemployment. Swedish Minister of Finance Magdalena Andersson yesterday said there is a big potential, since public investments as a share of the nation’s economy have been stable since the 1980s, while private investments have dropped. The Social Democratic-led government will target spending on roads and railways, including high-speed networks to connect the biggest cities, she said. It will encourage investments in projects by the state-run pension funds, and look at setting up debt-financed projects, she said.
Bank governor ready to go
Bulgarian central bank Governor Ivan Iskrov on Saturday said that he was ready to step down if there was enough support in parliament for his successor. The ruling European Development of Bulgaria party has nominated Dimitar Radev, a senior IMF economist, to take over the central bank post in a bid to restore trust in the banking system following the collapse of Corporate Commercial Bank last year. Iskrov’s second six-year term ends in October.
Google buys Pulse.io
Google Inc, looking to expand its mobile capabilities, has acquired Pulse.io Inc, which specializes in making applications faster and more responsive. Google on Friday did not disclose the terms in an e-mail announcing the deal. Pulse.io, whose customers include Groupon Inc and MyFitnessPal Inc, helps clients improve the performance of an application, discovering for example what is slowing down software or why a screen freezes.
Equinix buying Telecity
The US data center provider Equinix Inc on Friday said that it had struck a deal to acquire its smaller British rival Telecity Group for about ￡2.35 billion pounds (US$3.6 billion) in cash and stock. Under the terms, Equinix would pay about US$17.55, a share in a combination of cash and shares, a 34.9 percent premium to Telecity’s closing price on Feb. 10, the day before its planned alliance with Interxion was announced.
GM, Subaru add to recall
General Motors Co (GM) and Subaru are adding vehicles to the growing list of models being recalled by 11 automakers due to potentially exploding air bags. GM is adding about 375,000 GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado heavy-duty pickup trucks from 2007 and 2008 to the recall in North America. Subaru is adding about 60,000 Impreza small cars from the 2004 and 2005 model years plus the 2005 Saab 9-2X made by Subaru. The recall also covers passenger air bags.
POOR INTERNAL CONTROLS: Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa said the company is expected to get back on track while its chairman is suspended The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$939,415) for a reckless investment that endangered its solvency, and suspended its chairman Eugene Wu (吳東進) for poor supervision. The penalty is the second-highest in a single case after Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) was fined NT$30 million in September last year and its chairman Du Ying-tzyong (杜英宗) suspended for two years, the commission said. In three rounds of special and regular examinations conducted since last year, the commission found that Shin Kong Life had given too much power to an asset and liability management committee
Tesla Inc is planning to ship vehicles made at its Shanghai Gigafactory to other markets in Asia and Europe, people familiar with the matter said, as the company looks to realize its plan to reduce shipping costs and manufacture vehicles closer to customers. China-built Tesla Model 3s intended for delivery outside China would likely start mass production in the fourth quarter of the year, the people said, asking not to be identified because the details are private. They said the markets targeted include Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, as well as Europe, where customers currently have to wait for a Tesla to
Continental AG, which makes control units for Daimler AG cars, cannot pursue antitrust claims against a group of patent owners, including Qualcomm Inc, which are seeking royalties on telecommunications technology, a federal judge in Texas ruled. Avanci LLC, a licensing pool formed by Qualcomm, Nokia Oyj, Sharp Corp and other owners of patents on technology standards, is not breaching antitrust laws when it negotiates license agreements with automakers rather than the component makers, Barbara Lynn, chief district judge for the Northern District of Texas, said in dismissing the suit in a decision posted on Friday. The licensing group charges US$15 per vehicle
Nano-X Imaging Ltd, a start-up founded by Israeli investor Ran Poliakine, is joining forces with South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc to build a machine that could disrupt a century-old X-ray industry. Valued at about US$2 billion after listing on the NASDAQ last month, Nano-X is seeking to transform a multibillion-dollar industry that has essentially relied on the same technology since Nobel Prize in Physics winner Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-rays in the late 19th century. Nano-X’s device uses semiconductors instead of metal filaments to generate X-rays. The backing of SK Hynix, the world’s second-largest maker of memory chips, is a boost for