Sun, Mar 12, 2017 - Page 14 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

GERMANY

Berlin eyes spending boost

Germany plans to boost government spending by a total of more than 38 billion euros (US$40.56 billion) by 2021 without straying from its goal of keeping a balanced budget, according to a Federal Ministry of Finance draft document seen by reporters on Friday. Under the plan, spending is to rise to 355.6 billion euros in 2021 from last year’s 317.4 billion euros. However, with tax revenues expected to keep rising and borrowing costs to remain low, the document does not foresee the need for new net borrowing.

MACROECONOMICS

US government posts deficit

The US federal government ran another budget deficit last month, spared in part by slow tax refund processing. The US Department of the Treasury on Friday reported that the deficit came in at US$192 billion last month, little-changed from the US$192.6 billion deficit in the same period last year. This year’s budget hole would have been deeper, but the US Internal Revenue Service is required by a new law to delay refunds to those who file for the earned income tax credit while it looks for fraud. For the first five months of this fiscal year, the deficit totaled US$349 billion, a fall from last year’s US$351.3 billion during the same period.

PRODUCTIVITY

UK’s industrial output falls

Britain’s industrial output recoiled in January as the nation prepares to exit the EU, official data showed on Friday. Industrial output slid 0.4 percent compared with activity in December last year, with a particularly weak contribution from manufacturing, the British Office for National Statistics said in a statement. Manufacturing output, which excludes mining and quarrying, electricity, gas and water supply, slid 0.9 percent from January to December, while construction activity also shrank by 0.4 percent month-on-month, the office said.

OIL

Panel backs Venezuela

A World Bank panel has overturned part of a ruling ordering Venezuela to pay US$1.4 billion to Exxon Mobil in compensation for nationalizing a company project 10 years ago. The Washington-based International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes agreed with Venezuela’s argument appealing the case and overturned part of the decision it had taken in 2014. Exxon had originally sought US$12 billion in compensation over the loss of what it said it had already invested and what it expected to reap from the Cerro Negro project.

COFFEE

Vietnam firm plans IPO

Vietnam National Coffee Corp, the nation’s largest state-owned robusta producer, is planning an initial public offering (IPO) next year as the government reduces its stake in the company. The IPO is to include Vinacafe and 18 units, company deputy director-general Nguyen Van Minh said. The valuation process is expected to start in July, Minh said. Vietnam is the world’s largest producer of the robusta beans used in instant coffee. The country’s annual coffee exports are estimated to be between US$2.5 billion and US$3 billion, said Do Ha Nam, vice head of the Vietnam Coffee Cocoa Association and chairman of Intimex Group, the country’s top exporter.

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