Wed, Feb 01, 2017 - Page 5 News List

World Business Quick Take

Staff writer, with Agencies

GERMANY

Surplus to hit record: Ifo

The nation’s current account surplus is expected to have hit a new record of US$297 billion last year, overtaking that of China again to become the world’s largest, the Munich-based Ifo Institute for Economic Research said on Monday. That would be equivalent to 8.6 percent of total output, which means it would once again breach the European Commission’s recommended upper threshold of 6 percent. In 2015, the current account surplus stood at US$271 billion. The institute estimated China’s current account surplus last year totaled US$245 billion due to weaker exports. By contrast, the US is predicted to have the world’s largest capital imports, with a deficit of US$478 billion last year, the institute said. Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel on Thursday last week said that the country’s current account surplus is likely to shrink this year, because a slowdown in global trade is dampening export growth while strong domestic demand is pushing up imports.

ENTERTAINMENT

Sony to take write-down

Sony Corp on Monday said that it would take a ¥112 billion (US$983.3 million) write-down in its movie business after reviewing the future profitability of operations. The company said it would book the charge in the fiscal third quarter and is examining how the charge will affect its forecasts. Sony said it would sell shares in the medical Web service M3 Inc to Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s Japan unit to offset part of the loss. The announcement came two weeks after the firm said that Sony Entertainment Inc CEO Michael Lynton would step down after a 13-year run. Sony warned in June last year that the division was at a risk of posting more losses. “The decline in the DVD and Blu-ray market was faster than we anticipated,” Sony spokesman Takashi Iida said by telephone.

SPAIN

Economy continues to grow

The economy last year grew 3.2 percent, according to preliminary figures released by the National Institute of Statistics on Monday, consolidating three consecutive years of strong growth and in line with the government’s expectations. Final figures are expected to be published early next month. The conservative government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has put economic growth and boosting jobs at the center of its policies. It has pledged to recover the losses of the brutal financial meltdown and return this year to pre-crisis GDP levels. The institute said that GDP grew by 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, the same as in the period from July to September, but slightly down from the first half of the year, when the economy grew 0.8 percent each quarter.

SOFTWARE

Misys ready to go public

Misys Group Ltd is keen for the company to return to the public market, after the London-based provider of banking software was taken private in 2012 by Vista Equity Partners in a US$1.3 billion deal, CEO Nadeem Syed said in an interview on Monday. Syed declined to comment on potential timing. He said the company is targeting a host of new products, such as machine learning and peer-to-peer lending, a step away from the somewhat dry world of banking software for treasury and capital markets transactions. Misys is also branching out into machine learning, with a new offering, targeted for release in the next few months, aiming to help detect anomalies in trading patterns that will trigger alerts, he said.

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