Sun, Mar 27, 2016 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

CHINA

AIIB members to increase

More than 30 countries are waiting to join the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), adding to its 57 founding members, its president Jin Liqun (金立群) said on Friday. Speaking on the sidelines of the Boao Forum on China’s Hainan Island, Jin said the bank was working on accepting the new members. Jin did not identify the prospective members. The Chinese territory of Hong Kong may also be allowed to become a member, he added.

TIREMAKERS

Yokohama to buy Alliance

Yokohama Rubber Co on Friday said it is to buy KKR & Co’s Alliance Tire Group for US$1.2 billion to enter the market for agricultural and forest machinery. The Japanese maker of passenger-car tires is to purchase all shares from KKR and other parties and expects to complete the acquisition July 1, according to a statement. The deal is valued at about 2.2 times Alliance Tire’s annual sales and more than 12 times its operating profit for the last fiscal year.

CLOTHING

VF Corp seeks alternatives

VF Corp, the owner of the North Face, Lee and Wrangler clothing brands, is exploring alternatives for a business that makes licensed athletic apparel amid sluggish consumer demand in the US, the company said on Friday. The Licensed Sports Group business includes the Majestic brand and supplies apparel and fanware through licensing with professional sports teams, colleges and lifestyle brands, the company said. The business generated about US$550 million in revenue last year, it said.

VIETNAM

Economy slowed in Q1

The economy slowed in the first quarter of this year, official figures showed on Friday, hampered by low oil prices and an ongoing drought that has hit the agricultural sector hard. The dip followed last year’s record GDP growth at 6.68 percent, a boom fueled by a flurry of international interest in the nation. The first three months of the year saw GDP growth drop to 5.46 percent, down from 6.12 percent for the same period last year.

LEBANON

World Bank irked by Beirut

The head of the World Bank expressed frustration at Lebanon’s political paralysis on Friday, warning that good governance now was essential to prevent future conflict. The World Bank granted Lebanon a US$100 million loan on Thursday to support educational projects, but an agreed development package from the bank worth about US$1 billion is being held up by the political deadlock. Lebanon’s GDP grew 2 percent in 2014.

DRUGMAKERS

Gilead to pay US$200m

Gilead Sciences Inc was ordered by a jury to pay Merck & Co US$200 million for patent infringement over a drug compound that cures hepatitis C, a 10th of what Merck sought. The verdict announced on Thursday follows an earlier finding by the jury embracing Merck’s claims that its scientists were responsible for early breakthroughs that led to the development of the Sovaldi and Harvoni medicines which helped Gilead become the world’s largest biotechnology firm by market value.

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