Sat, Jul 09, 2016 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



Consumer confidence dives

Consumer confidence fell at the fastest pace in 22 years after last month’s decision by voters to leave the EU, according to a survey by market research company GfK cited by the Daily Telegraph newspaper. The survey said consumer morale fell to minus nine in the aftermath of the June 23 vote down from minus one in its previous monthly survey, representing the biggest drop in confidence since December 1994.


Trade surplus shrinks

The trade surplus shrank in May as exports declined unexpectedly, official data showed on Friday, pointing to possible clouds on the horizon for Europe’s biggest economy. Exports declined by 1.8 percent to 99.5 billion euros (US$110 billion) in seasonally adjusted terms in May, according to data published by the federal statistics office Destatis. At the same time, imports edged up by 0.1 percent to 77.4 billion euros. That meant that the trade surplus contracted sharply to 22.2 billion euros in May from 24.1 billion euros in April, the statisticians calculated.


Government to sell stakes

The government has invited bids from bankers for sale of its stakes in companies such as ITC Ltd, Larsen & Toubro Ltd and Axis Bank Ltd, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi looks to boost revenues and shrink Asia’s widest budget deficit. Holding company Specified Undertaking of Unit Trust of India will appoint as many as three merchant bankers to advise on transactions involving 51 companies over three years, it said on its Web site. The government has not set a target for such sales.


Beijing pushes for closures

Beijing has threatened to punish regional governments for failing to close unneeded coal mines and steel mills. Provincial governments must set capacity reduction targets by Friday next week and submit detailed phase-out plans by the end of this month, said Xu Shaoshi (徐紹史), chairman of National Development and Reform Commission, the nation’s top economic planner, according to a report by official Xinhua News Agency. About 800,000 coal and steel jobs are expected to be cut this year, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said separately on Friday.


Car sales pick up

Passenger-vehicle sales expanded at a faster pace in the first half, as rising demand for SUVs and new-energy vehicles widened the nation’s lead as the world’s biggest car market. Retail sales of cars, sport utility vehicles and multipurpose vehicles climbed 9.5 percent to 10.8 million units in the January to June period, according to the China Passenger Car Association. One segment that was an exception to the growth trend was mini commercial vehicles, with sales falling 34 percent to 374,208 units in the first half.


Theranos CEO banned

Theranos Inc’s chief executive officer Elizabeth Holmes was banned for two years from owning or operating laboratories as part of US regulators’ sanctions against the troubled blood-testing start-up. The once high-flying Silicon Valley start-up was also penalized for an undisclosed amount and lost its eligibility to get payments from federal health insurance programs for lab services, according to a statement on Thursday from Theranos.

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