Tue, Jun 21, 2016 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

PHARMACEUTICALS

Circassia’s late study fails

Drug developer Circassia Pharmaceuticals PLC said its cat allergy treatment failed to meet its main goal in a late-stage study, due to a marked placebo effect. Circassia said that all groups in the study showed improvement compared with the baseline and that the results of the active treatment groups were not significantly different to placebo. The company said it would stop its registration study of a grass allergy treatment and preparatory work for a dose-ranging study of its ragweed allergy therapy.

APPLIANCES

LG seeking acquisitions

LG Electronics Inc, which has businesses ranging from TVs to washing machines, is looking at home appliance acquisitions to fuel its global expansion and withstand a slowing smartphone market. The company is likely to focus on business-to-business targets, such as component makers, LG Home Appliance Division president Jo Seong-jin said in an interview. Earnings from the business will increase in the quarters ahead, Jo said, as he expects the unit’s sales to rise about 10 percent this year. LG, like larger rival Samsung Electronics Co, is trying to innovate and push into premium segments to capture more affluent consumers amid increased competition from Chinese rivals, including Midea Group (美的) and Haier Electronics Group (海爾). The company might increase its investment in Vietnam and has not ruled out establishing factories elsewhere in North America, as well as Brazil and South Africa, Jo said.

JAPAN

Trade drops into deficit

Japan fell into a trade deficit last month, the first since January, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday, as renewed yen strength pressured exports. Exports fell for all major regions, including the nation’s biggest trading partner, China, as concerns linger over a slowdown in the largest Asian economy, as well as other emerging markets. A rising yen dents exports by making the country’s products more expensive in overseas markets and thus less competitive. The currency, often seen as a safe haven, has broadly gained in recent months, partially on fears over the state of the global economy and more recently on concerns over a possible British exit from the EU in a referendum on Thursday.

TRANSPORTATION

Suez raises tolls for VLCCs

Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority has set new toll rates for oil tankers as part of a six-month experiment that came into effect on Thursday last week, it said on its Web site. Very large crude carriers (VLCCs) transiting the canal from the Gulf of Aden after discharging at the Sumed pipeline are to be charged US$155,000 if they are carrying more than 250,000 in deadweight tonnage. VLCCs are to pay US$230,000 on their return ballast trip. The canal is one of Egypt’s main sources of foreign currency. Egypt has been struggling to revive its economy since a 2011 uprising scared away tourists and foreign investors.

QATAR

Oil prices slow development

A US$200 billion infrastructure program could see higher costs and delays because of the slump in oil prices, the government said on Sunday. A study from the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics said that “continued volatility” in the oil market was likely to have consequences for the vast construction projects underway. The ministry predicted that Doha would run budget deficits for at least three years as it adjusts its energy-reliant economy to the fall in oil prices.

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