Sat, Jun 20, 2015 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take



BOJ maintains policy

The Bank of Japan (BOJ) kept monetary policy steady and maintained its upbeat assessment of the economy yesterday, signaling its conviction that inflation will hit its 2 percent target without additional monetary stimulus. As widely expected, the BOJ reiterated its pledge to increase base money, or cash and deposits at the central bank, at an annual pace of ¥80 trillion (US$648 billion) through purchases of government bonds and risky assets. The policy board made the decision by an 8-1 vote. It also said it will cut the number of policy-setting meetings to eight each year, from the current 14.


CPI rises on gasoline prices

A surge in gasoline prices pushed consumer inflation modestly higher last month, the fourth month in a row of gains, the Department of Labor said on Thursday. The country’s consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.4 percent last month, almost entirely driven by a 10.4 percent jump in gasoline prices, rebounding from a decline in April. Food prices were unchanged for a second straight month. Compared with a year ago, overall CPI was unchanged. Stripping out food and energy prices, core CPI edged up 0.1 percent, its smallest increase since December last year. Core prices were up 1.7 percent from a year ago.


Mitsubishi eyes Manila bank

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc is among companies that have expressed interest in purchasing United Coconut Planters Bank from the Philippine government, a person with knowledge of the matter said. Japan’s biggest bank filed documents showing its interest in the Manila-based lender, the person said. The government received 12 letters of intent from local and foreign entities including banks and private-equity firms, chief privatization officer Toni Coo said earlier this week. Lenders from Malaysia and Taiwan also expressed interest in Coconut Bank, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier.


Fidelity makes Colt offer

Telecoms provider Colt Group SA’s largest shareholder, Fidelity, offered to buy out minority shareholders in an all-cash bid that values Colt at about £1.72 billion (US$2.73 billion). Independent directors of Colt said in a separate statement the offer undervalued the company and a sale to a third party could potentially achieve a significantly higher offer. The company’s stock hit a high of £1.893, just shy of the offer of £1.90 per share, which represents a 21.3 percent premium to Colt’s Thursday closing price.


Nokia seeks maps buyers

Nokia Oyj is leaning toward selling its maps business to a group of German automakers, although price differences remain, according to people familiar with the matter. Nokia is aiming to pressure the group, which consists of Audi AG, BMW AG and Daimler AG, to increase its offer by continuing to entertain bids from other automakers, the people said. The carmakers, who are key clients for the technology and first approached Nokia about a sale, may hesitate to pay the as much as US$4 billion being sought for the unit, known as HERE, they said. Final bids are due this week and Nokia could opt for a different bidder for the business, they said.

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