Thu, Sep 17, 2015 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take



Glencore raises US$2.5bn

Swiss mining giant Glencore PLC, hit by collapsing commodities prices, yesterday raised US$2.5 billion via a share sale as part of its vast debt-slashing plan. London-listed Glencore said in a statement that it had sold about £1.6 billion (US$2.46 billion) in new shares to pay down debt. The company, which has lost 57 percent of its market value this year, sold the new stock at £1.25 per share, a 2.4 percent discount to its closing price on Tuesday. Glencore offloaded 1.3 billion shares worth up to 9.99 percent of the group.


Thai bank maintains rates

Thailand’s central bank yesterday kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged for a third straight meeting, putting the onus on government spending to support the economic recovery. The Bank of Thailand held its one-day bond repurchase rate at 1.5 percent in a unanimous decision, it said. GDP is forecast to expand less than 3 percent this year, Bank of Thailand Assistant Governor Mathee Supapongse said at a media briefing yesterday.While negative factors still outweigh the positive for Thailand’s economy, the deflation risk is limited because core inflation is still positive, he said, predicting that headline inflation would turn positive in the first quarter.


Zara owner profit rises 26%

The Spanish owner of the Zara clothing store chain yesterday said that profit for the first half of the year rose 26 percent, boosted by growth in all markets around the world where the company sells clothes. Inditex Group said in a statement that profit for the January-June period was 1.2 billion euros (US$1.4 billion). Revenue for the period was 9.4 billion euros, up 17 percent compared with the same period last year. The company opened new stores in 35 markets during the first six months of the year, lifting its total store count to 6,777 in 85 markets. More than 10,000 jobs were added and about a quarter of them were in Spain, it said.


Marriott invests in S Africa

Marriott International Inc plans to develop a Johannesburg hotel and executive apartments at a cost of about 1 billion rand (US$74 million), the US hotelier’s first own-branded properties in South Africa. The accommodation is to open in February 2018, Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday. Amdec Property Group, Marriott’s local partner, said in a separate e-mailed statement that Marriott’s 150-room hotel and 200-unit apartment complex would cost a combined 1 billion rand. Marriott agreed to buy Cape Town-based Protea Hospitality Holdings last year for about US$200 million. The company expects the two brands to expand into 18 African countries from 10 over the next five years, Marriott said.


Tentative deal for FCA, UAW

A tentative labor contract covering 40,000 US workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) could eventually end a controversial two-tier pay system and could offer a new approach to curbing medical costs, chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne said on Tuesday. The two-tier pay system “will go away over time,” Marchionne said. Under the old contract recently hired United Auto Workers Union (UAW) members are paid a top wage of US$19.28 an hour, while veterans earn US$28 an hour. Analysts expect raises for UAW members at both levels, but the new pay rates were not disclosed.

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