Mon, Jan 25, 2016 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take



DPJ urges Amari for clarity

The opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) plans to urge embattled Minister of State for Economy and Fiscal Policy Akira Amari to clarify graft allegations made against him in a tabloid magazine. A key architect of the government’s “Abenomics” policies, Amari and his secretary have been accused by the weekly Shukan Bunshun magazine of taking money from an unidentified construction company in an alleged violation of a political funding law. “I want him to show good faith and clear up the graft allegations,” party vice secretary-general Tetsuro Fukuyama said on an NHK TV program yesterday. The party wants to hear from Amari today before the start of the House of Representatives’ plenary session, which is scheduled to start tomorrow, Fukuyama said. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has indicated he wants Amari to continue fulfilling his duties, NHK reported on its Web site.


Central bank backs Lagarde

The Monetary Authority of Singapore yesterday said it supported the nomination of IMF managing director Christine Lagarde for a second term. Lagarde launched her campaign for her second term on Friday last week with ringing endorsements from a host of major economies that looked past a court case against her in her native France. Her first term ends on July 4 and the IMF has said it wants to wrap up the selection process by March 3. “Singapore supports Ms Lagarde serving a second term, and I am confident she will continue to lead the IMF with conviction and in an inclusive way,” Monetary Authority of Singapore Chairman Tharman Shanmugaratnam said in a statement.


Four miners killed in fire

Four miners have died in an underground fire in a platinum mine near Johannesburg, the Impala group said in a statement. The fire broke out on Friday last week at a mine near Rustenburg, about 120km from Johannesburg, the owners said in a statement. The National Union of Mineworkers, the main union body representing the sector, yesterday said it was “deeply concerned about these fatalities happening at Impala Platinum.” South Africa possesses rich mineral reserves and has several gold, platinum, diamond and coal pits, but has been dogged by several mining accidents in the recent past.


Talks with EU progressing

Minister of Economy and Finances Pier Carlo Padoan on Saturday said that the government is conducting a “very good conversation” with the European Commission on a plan to help banks offload bad debt, as additional national measures to ease the sale of non-performing loans are to be introduced this week. Talks with the commission “will not be stalled, and in any case we already have in place measures that will help,” Padoan said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Padoan later told a news conference he would be meeting with EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager tomorrow. The government and the commission are discussing a plan to allow buyers of banks’ bad loans to purchase a state guarantee on them to reduce the price gap, a person with knowledge of the talks said. Under the terms being reviewed, the loans would not be bundled into a common pool backed by the state, the person said.

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