Sat, Nov 19, 2016 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

FRANCE

Growth short of expectation

The economy is set to grow slightly less than expected this year, the minister of finance said yesterday, in another setback for President Francois Hollande as he weighs a re-election bid. Minister of Finance Michel Sapin said on Europe 1 radio that economic growth of 1.4 percent was “the figure we are working on for this year as an assumption.” Previous forecasts were for 1.5 percent growth for this year. It follows data earlier this week showing unemployment rates increased slightly in the third quarter, as the nation gears up for presidential elections next year.

BANKING

Mexico raises interest rate

Mexico’s central bank on Thursday decided to raise its interbank interest rate by one-half point to 5.25 percent, citing “a more complex world economic panorama caused by, among other things, the US elections.” The decision was the second time in as many months the Bank of Mexico has raised the rate. In September, it raised the rate a half-point to 4.75 percent, seeking to shore up a weak peso.

ARGENTINA

Massive job losses reported

About 130,000 people lost their jobs from January to September amid a recession, the government said on Thursday. Companies reported a total of 127,595 job cuts — a 1.5 percent fall in employment overall — the Federal Public Revenues Administration said. Just less than 8 million of the country’s 41 million people were formally employed. President Mauricio Macri has introduced spending cuts and tariff hikes.

AUTOMAKERS

Tesla to buy SolarCity

Tesla Motors Inc on Thursday said that shareholders approved a plan to buy “renewable” energy company SolarCity Corp in an overwhelming endorsement of a plan outlined by founder Elon Musk. Not counting votes by Musk, who holds stakes in both companies, more than 85 percent of shareholder votes were cast in favor of the acquisition, according to a statement by Tesla. The deal, valued at US$2.6 billion, is expected to be completed in a matter of days, it said. Tesla has painted the controversial plan as a financially smart move that comes with the benefit of helping protect the planet. Combining the companies would have “significant financial benefits,” the company said.

RETAIL

Clothing sales boost market

Retail sales in the UK rebounded sharply last month on strong clothing demand, official data showed on Thursday. Sales by volume jumped by 1.9 percent in October compared with September, the UK Office for National Statistics said in a statement. That easily outstripped market expectations for an increase of 0.5 percent. Analysts said the impact of Britain’s shock EU exit referendum, held on June 23, had been muted on the high street.

RETAIL

Wal-Mart revenues down

A fall in international sales income for retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc held down total revenues and hit profits in the three months to Oct. 31, the company reported on Thursday. While sales in its main US market rose 2.5 percent over the year-ago quarter, to US$74.6 billion, international sales slumped 4.8 percent to US$28.4 billion. Nevertheless, overall domestic and international revenues from sales and other sources rose a tepid 0.7 percent over a year ago. Net profits fell 8.2 percent year on year to US$3 billion, or US$0.98 a share.

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