Wed, Sep 21, 2016 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

SWITZERLAND

Watch exports in free fall

The country’s watch exports last month fell for a 14th consecutive month as demand weakened from Japan to the US. Shipments dropped 8.8 percent to 1.4 billion Swiss francs (US$1.4 billion), the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said in a statement yesterday. The slump has spread from Asia to markets in Europe and the US, leading Swatch Group AG to report a 54 percent drop in first-half profit and peer Cie Financiere Richemont SA to warn that first-half earnings would decline about 45 percent. Exports to Hong Kong fell 29 percent, while shipments to Germany slid 15 percent, the federation said. The US and Japan showed declines of 12 percent and 27 percent, respectively. One bright spot was the UK, where Swiss watch exports increased 24 percent after the Brexit-induced tumble in the value of sterling.

FOOD

Kellogg recalling waffles

Kellogg Co is recalling about 10,000 cases of its Eggo Nutri-Grain Whole Wheat Waffles in 25 US states, because they could be contaminated with the bacteria listeria. Listeria can cause serious and even deadly infections. It primarily affects elderly people, pregnant women, newborns and people with weak immune systems. The Battle Creek, Michigan company on Monday said it has received no reports of illnesses. Kellogg says it learned of the potential problem after routine tests. Kellogg, which also makes Frosted Flakes and Special K, said no other Eggo products were affected.

SMARTPHONES

China Note 7 fire probed

Samsung Electronics on Monday said that its investigation into the first report of a Galaxy Note 7 fire in China found no battery problem, reducing concerns that its smartphone crisis had expanded to the world’s largest mobile phone market. The South Korean tech giant said it was not able to investigate a second reported fire because it could not obtain that phone. The two accounts of Galaxy Note 7 fires appeared on Chinese social media and were widely reported by Chinese and South Korean media, raising alarms, because the South Korean tech giant earlier said no Note 7 recall was necessary in China because the phones sold there did not have the battery manufacturing error that caused fires in dozens of phones sold in other countries. Samsung announced the global recall of 2.5 million of its flagship smartphones just two weeks after they were launched.

EU

Apple ruling ‘not anti-US’

Europe’s powerful Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on Monday said that the EU order for Apple to pay US$15 billion in taxes did not represent any bias against US companies. Speaking hours after the EU launched an in-depth probe into alleged sweetheart tax deals between French gas group Engie and Luxembourg, Vestager said the new case was evidence that the EU was going after all tax evaders. “If you look at our practice, then you cannot find a US bias. You cannot find the statistics to back up any kind of bias,” she said in Washington. The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, last month ordered Apple to reimburse a record 13 billion euros (US$15 billion) in unpaid taxes in Ireland. That came after US companies, including Starbucks, Amazon and Google parent Alphabet, have come under probes over the low profits tax they pay in Europe due to alleged sweetheart tax deals with certain governments.

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