Tue, Aug 25, 2015 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take



Qatar bank pushes gold

Doha Bank QSC expects to sell a record 200 million riyals (US$53 million) of gold this year as consumers take advantage of lower prices and investors seek a haven from falling equities and weakening currencies. The bank, the first lender authorized to import and sell gold in Qatar, took in 23,818 ounces in the first seven months of this year compared with 15,830 ounces in the same period last year, Samuel K.V, head of treasury trading and product management, said in a phone interview from Doha on Sunday. Sales were worth 110 million riyals this year, he said. Demand is expected to rise due to the “big volatility in the Chinese stock market and currency” and the possibility of a delayed interest rate increase by the Fed. Gold declined 0.5 percent to US$1,154.55 an ounce yesterday after rallying 4.1 percent last week.


Speculation spurs shares

Sharp Corp surged in Tokyo trading after the Asahi newspaper report spurred optimism the company would spin off its LCD business and sell a stake to electronics assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密). Sharp was the best performer on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average, surging as much as 5.4 percent to ¥175 before trading at ¥171 as 12:30pm local time. That compares with a 4 percent plunge in the Nikkei 225. Sharp is also considering selling its stake in a factory co-owned by Hon Hai, the Taiwan-based assembler of iPhones, video game consoles and tablet computers, the Asahi reported, without saying where it got the information. Sharp, a supplier of LCD panels to Apple Inc, had an operating loss of ¥28.8 billion (US$23 billion) for the three months ended June 30.


Netflix, Softbank team up

Netflix Inc and Softbank Group are considering a content partnership for the video streaming service set to start in Japan on Sept. 2. Softbank is also to sell Netflix subscriptions in the country through its retail shops, the two companies said in a statement in Tokyo yesterday. The service is to range from ¥650 to ¥1,450 per month (US$5.41 to US$12.07). Netflix has already partnered with Fuji Media Holdings Inc to produce a drama for the service’s debut, the first time for the US-based company to launch in an overseas market with local content. The world’s largest online subscription video service will compete with Hulu’s Japan business, owned by Nippon Television Holdings Inc and streaming services offered by NTT Docomo Inc and Softbank’s own Uula.


Denmark GDP prediction cut

Denmark’s new government cut its forecasts for economic growth this year and next year, and predicted wider budget deficits than were seen under the previous administration. The Liberal government of Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen sees GDP expanding 1.5 percent this year, compared with 1.7 percent estimated by the Social Democrat-led coalition that was ousted in June elections. GDP is to expand 1.9 percent next year, also less than the 2 percent previously foreseen, according to a Finance Ministry document seen by Bloomberg. The economy grew 1.1 percent this year. Slower growth is to coincide with wider budget deficits than had been predicted before the June election, with the shortfall now seen at 2.7 percent of GDP this year, more than twice the 1.3 percent previously estimated. The gap is to widen to 2.8 percent next year, the Finance Ministry document showed.

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