Fri, Jan 15, 2016 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

ACQUISITIONS

ABI raises sufficient funds

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ABI) has completed a US$46 billion, seven-part bond deal to help finance the acquisition of fellow brewing company SABMiller PLC, in the second-largest corporate debt offering ever in the US, according to Thomson Reuters. Investors had put in orders for US$117 billion — the biggest backlog of orders ever. The size of the deal fell just short of breaking the record to date, US$49 billion of debt raised in a deal by Verizon in 2013 to finance the acquisition of a 45 percent stake in its wireless unit that was held by Britain’s Vodafone. Investors have rushed for a piece of the investment-grade Anheuser-Busch InBev deal as global stock markets have been turbulent at the start of the year and sinking commodity markets have left investors reeling.

MACROECONOMICS

S Korea cuts growth outlook

South Korea’s central bank yesterday cut its economic growth outlook for this year from 3.2 percent to 3 percent, citing lingering “uncertainties” over a slowdown in key export markets and the won. Despite a sustained US economic recovery, growth in emerging markets including China — Seoul’s largest trade partner — has “continued to slow,” it said in a statement. The Bank of Korea also lowered its inflation projections for this year to 1.4 percent from its earlier 1.7 percent forecast, noting that price rises were expected to remain “considerably short” of its 2 percent target for the time being. The central bank left its key interest rate at 1.5 percent for a seventh consecutive month — after the US Federal Reserve last month announced its first rate hike in almost a decade.

MACROECONOMICS

Most of US registers growth

The US economy grew in most parts of the nation, while the New York and Kansas City regions reported essentially flat growth, a closely watched US Federal Reserve report showed on Wednesday. The Beige Book report said that nine of the Fed’s 12 districts had reported increased economic activity that was either “moderate” or “modest” and the outlook for future growth from persons surveyed was “mostly positive” in six districts. The previous Beige Book — released on Dec. 2 last year — had reported an increase in consumer spending in most districts and “robust” automobile sales. The collection of anecdotal information helps to inform policy decisions by the Federal Open Market Committee.

OIL

Prices slide on glut fears

Brent oil yesterday traded near US$30 per barrel as Iran moved closer to boosting exports and exacerbating a global glut. Futures fell as much as 1.9 percent in London to the biggest discount to US prices in about a year. Brent slid below US$30 per barrel on Wednesday for the first time since April 2004 amid speculation sanctions on Iran might be lifted by Monday, paving the way for increased shipments. US stockpiles gained by 234,000 barrels last week while supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma, the US’ biggest storage hub, climbed further to a record, according to government data. Prices pared losses after attacks in Indonesia. Iran, the fifth-biggest OPEC member, is set to increase production by 100,000 barrels per day, or 3.7 percent, one month after sanctions are lifted and by 400,000 in six months, according to the median estimate of 12 analysts and economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

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