Sat, Mar 11, 2017 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



Airbnb raises over US$1bn

Airbnb Inc raised more than US$1 billion in a fresh funding round that valued the home-sharing start-up at US$31 billion, a source close to the company said on Thursday. It added US$448 million to the US$555 million in funding it took in last year, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The company became profitable in the second half of last year before accounting for interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, the source said. Airbnb, one of the most prominent members of the so-called “sharing economy,” has raised more than US$3 billion since its founding in 2008.


Openreach to separate

BT Group PLC agreed to legally split off its Openreach network division into a separate entity as demanded by Britain’s telecom regulator, Ofcom. Openreach will have its own staff, management, strategy and a “legal purpose to serve all of its customers equally,” Ofcom said in a statement yesterday. The agreement follows the regulator’s proposal of such a change in November last year. The move aims to improve access to the network for rivals like Sky PLC, TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC and Vodafone Group PLC, which rely on Openreach to offer broadband to consumers.


No more interest cuts

Bank Indonesia Senior Deputy Governor Mirza Adityaswara gave his clearest signal yet that policymakers are done cutting interest rates to spur the economy, saying the benchmark rate is “low enough.” Boosting growth is “not about interest rates anymore,” Adityaswara, who is in charge of monetary policy, foreign-exchange reserves and currency management at Indonesia’s central bank, said in an interview on Thursday. “We monitor the external factors,” he said. “We think we’ve already cut enough.” Bank Indonesia was Asia’s biggest rate cutter last year after six reductions to spur growth.


French cyclists form union

Cyclists in France working for online food delivery groups have organized their first trade union to fight for better pay and job security, a labor group said on Thursday. The CGT trade union said it had created a new union in the western city of Bordeaux which would seek to represent around 700 bikers working locally for meal delivery platforms such as Deliveroo, Foodora or UberEats. New union member Loic Notais said that work conditions in Bordeaux had changed with riders now often paid per delivery, instead of an hourly rate. “The number of delivery riders has doubled or tripled. There’s no longer enough work for everyone,” he said. The initiative comes as a political debate rages in France about the quality of new jobs being created by companies such as Uber Technologies Inc, whose drivers are mostly self-employed contractors with no job security.


Potential foreign buyers’ tax

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa is rethinking a foreign buyers’ tax as one possible option to cool Toronto’s housing market. The average price of homes sold in the greater Toronto area last month rose 27.7 percent over last year and the average price of a detached home is now more than C$1.5 million (US$1.1 million). Sousa said on Thursday he is concerned about people’s ability to enter the market and “the degree of fast appreciation.” He says he is considering a number of options and “a foreign tax is just one.”

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