Thu, Oct 06, 2016 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

MACROECONOMY

Eurozone economy slows

A closely watched survey shows that the economy of the 19-nation eurozone lost momentum last month, as businesses fretted over the potential impact of a series of political uncertainties. Financial information company Markit yesterday said that its purchasing managers’ index, a broad gauge of economic activity, dropped to a 20-month low of 52.6 points last month from 52.9 in August. As anything above 50 indicates expansion, Markit said its index indicates the eurozone economy grew by a muted quarterly rate of 0.3 percent in the third quarter.

TELECOMS

Sweden unfazed by job cuts

Sweden’s government will not intervene in Ericsson AB’s plan to cut thousands of jobs, confident the expanding economy can withstand the loss of key manufacturing sites. While Ericsson’s plan to eliminate 3,000 jobs in Sweden is “heartbreaking,” it comes at a time when the economy is “strong,” Swedish Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Mikael Damberg said on Tuesday. The government last month predicted the economy would expand 3.5 percent this year, after 4.2 percent growth last year. Unemployment is expected to fall to 6.3 percent next year from about 6.8 percent this year, it said.

INSURANCE

NN to buy Delta Lloyd

NN Group has offered to buy local competitor Delta Lloyd NV for 2.4 billion euros (US$2.7 billion) to boost its scale in the pensions and insurance sectors, a proposal that Delta Lloyd has so far rebuffed. NN intends to offer 5.30 euros per share for Amsterdam-based Delta Lloyd, it said yesterday. That represents a premium of 29 percent to Delta Lloyd’s closing share price on Tuesday, it said. Delta Lloyd has not yet accepted NN’s approaches to discuss its proposal and negotiate a recommended transaction.

BANKING

Barclays sells Egyptian unit

Barclays PLC agreed to sell its Egyptian business to Morocco’s Attijariwafa Bank as the British firm shrinks its global operations and speeds up the sale of unwanted assets. The deal is likely to be completed by the end of this year, Barclays said in a statement on Tuesday. The disposal will boost the bank’s common equity Tier 1 ratio by 0.1 percentage point, reducing risk-weighted assets by about £2 billion (US$2.6 billion). Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

PROPERTY

Vancouver home sales fall

Vancouver home sales fell 33 percent last month, the most since 2010, adding to evidence measures taken by the provincial government to curb price gains are working. Sales in the Pacific coast city dropped to 2,253 in the month, from 3,345 a year earlier, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said on Tuesday. It was the largest decrease since 2010 and comes after British Columbia imposed a 15 percent tax, which took effect in August, on purchases by foreigners. Sales were also down 9.5 percent on the month, the real-estate board said.

INTERNET

MBK, TPG to buy Wharf T&T

A consortium of MBK Partners and TPG Capital agreed to acquire Internet provider Wharf T&T Ltd, owned by billionaire Peter Woo’s (吳光正) Wharf Holdings Ltd (九龍倉), for HK$9.5 billion (US$1.2 billion). The all-cash deal for the business, which provides fixed-line services to mostly corporate clients in Hong Kong, should be completed next month, the Hong Kong conglomerate said on Tuesday in a statement.

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