Sat, Jul 02, 2016 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

ECONOMY

S&P cuts the EU’s rating

Ratings agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) on Thursday cut the credit rating for the EU by one notch, saying that the bloc had grown more uncertain after Brexit. S&P cut the EU’s rating to “AA,” still the third-highest possible level, from “AA+” with a “stable” outlook, which signifies that the agency believes no further cut would be necessary in the medium term. On Monday, both S&P and Fitch downgraded Britain’s rating citing the referendum that decided an exit from the EU. S&P cut the country’s rating from the top “AAA” to “AA,” while Fitch lowered its rating from “AA+” to “AA.”

BANKING

Key interest rate raised

The Banco de Mexico on Thursday raised its key interest rate by half a point to contain inflation and shore up the peso after its battering following Britain’s decision to leave the EU. Facing the prospect of “sluggish” global growth in the second half of this year, the central bank decided to “increase the interbank base rate by 50 points to a level of 4.25 percent,” it said in a statement. Mexico’s GDP saw growth of 2.5 percent last year. This year, the bank predicts the economy should expand between 2.5 percent and 3.5 percent.

CHINA

New home prices slow

The cost of new homes rose at a slower rate last month from the previous month, figures showed yesterday, as measures to tame prices in economy took hold. The average price for new houses in 100 major cities increased 1.32 percent month-on-month to 11,816 yuan (US$1,776) per square meter, the China Index Academy said in a statement, down from April’s 1.7 percent. Year-on-year, new home prices were up 11.18 percent last month, compared with 10.34 percent in May, the academy said.

MINING

Newmont sells PTNNT stake

Newmont Mining Corp, the largest US bullion producer, agreed to sell its Indonesian copper and gold assets for US$1.3 billion as the country pushes miners to build smelters rather than exporting raw materials. PT Amman Mineral Internasional, a closely held Indonesian company backed by three local banks, will buy Newmont’s 48.5 percent interest in PTNNT, which operates the Batu Hijau mine, the Colorado-based company said in a statement on Thursday. Sumitomo Corp also agreed to sell its stake in an asset that Newmont says has a gross valuation of more than US$2.5 billion.

INTERNET

Google to offer ‘Nougat’

Google is serving a new morsel for fans of its Android software: The next version has been dubbed “Nougat,” extending the tradition of nicknaming each overhaul of Android after a sweet food. The Nougat name announced on Thursday comes seven weeks after Google sought suggestions during its annual conference for software engineers. Nougat is scheduled to be released in new smartphones this fall, when the makers of existing Android devices will also be able to enable updates to the new software. Nougat’s new features will include the ability to run apps without actually installing them on a device.

MANUFACTURING

Russian PMI rises

The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for Russian manufacturers last month jumped to the highest level since November 2014, topping economist forecasts as domestic demand powered gains in orders and output. The PMI surged to 51.5 from 49.6 in May, Markit Economics said yesterday.

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