Fri, Apr 07, 2017 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

GERMANY

Factory orders soar

Factory orders rose 3.4 percent in February, driven by robust domestic demand, following a sharp decline in January. The Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy yesterday said that February domestic orders were up 8.1 percent over the previous month, while foreign orders remained flat as a drop of 2.4 percent inside the eurozone was offset by a 1.6 percent increase from outside the bloc. Orders for intermediate goods surged 8.5 percent, while demand for investment goods edged up 0.3 percent and that for consumer goods increased 2.7 percent, the ministry said.

RUSSIA

Poverty numbers near 20m

The number of Russians living in poverty last year reached nearly 20 million — a decade high — after sanctions over Ukraine and an oil crisis battered the economy, official figures showed on Wednesday. About 19.8 million people — more than 13 percent of the population — were living with incomes below the minimum deemed acceptable, the figures from statistics agency Rosstat showed, an uptick from 19.5 million in 2015. Incomes in the nation are highly volatile between the seasons, with poverty in the fourth quarter defined as living on less than 9,691 rubles (US$171 per month.

RETAIL

Seven to buy Sunoco

Seven & i Holdings Co, the world’s largest convenience store operator, agreed to acquire Sunoco LP retail shops and gasoline businesses for US$3.3 billion in a record deal for the Japanese company as it seeks to expand in the US. The deal is to add 1,108 gas stations and convenience stores in Texas and the eastern US. Sunoco’s retail unit — which includes more than 1,300 stores — last year reported operating income of US$103 million on revenue of US$7.7 billion. With the acquisition, “7-Eleven Inc will expand its store network and offer greater convenience, while also improving profitability,” Seven & i said in a statement yesterday. 7-Eleven will also sign a contract to receive gasoline from Sunoco for the next 15 years. 7-Eleven is aiming to have 10,000 stores by the fiscal 2020, according to the statement.

ENERGY

Aramco to raise US$3bn

Saudi Aramco is planning to raise 11.25 billion riyals (US$3 billion) from its debut Islamic bond, according to a person with knowledge of the offering, boosting the size of the sale because of investor demand. Aramco, as the world’s largest oil producer is known, is selling the debt with a seven-year tenure in a private placement at 25 basis points over the Saudi interbank offered rate, the person said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. The company increased the size of the bond — known as sukuk — after demand exceeded supply, the person said.

ENERGY

GE mulls lightbulb unit sale

The company created by the inventor of the lightbulb seems to have a dim view of its future relationship with the device. The Wall Street Journal said in a report citing unnamed sources that General Electric Co (GE) is considering selling its lightbulb business. The newspaper said GE has been talking to investment banks about its lighting business, which could fetch about US$500 million. The company was cofounded by Thomas Edison more than 100 years ago. A GE spokeswoman declined to comment.

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