Sun, Apr 16, 2017 - Page 14 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

MACROECONOMICS

China’s Q1 growth stable

China’s growth stabilized in the first quarter thanks to rising investments and a recovery in exports, experts said, although they warned the reprieve might be temporary. According to an AFP survey of 16 economic analysts, the nation’s GDP expanded 6.8 percent in the first three months of this year — the same level of growth as in the last quarter of last year. However, the momentum is not expected to last: According to the poll’s median full-year forecast, China’s GDP growth will fall to 6.6 percent for the whole of this year. The government has targeted 6.5 percent growth for this year, after a 6.7 percent GDP increase last year. The official GDP growth figure is to be released tomorrow.

DISTILLERS

Moutai targets growth

China’s Kweichow Moutai Co (貴州茅台), the world’s most valuable liquor distiller, said it aims to boost revenue by more than 15 percent this year as it benefits from Chinese consumers shifting to pricier spirits. Full-year net income grew 8 percent last year to 16.7 billion yuan (US$2.43 billion), Moutai said in an exchange filing in Shanghai on Friday. Revenue rose 19 percent to 38.9 billion yuan. The Guizhou Province-based distiller, whose fiery liquor is the toast of choice for China’s political leaders, overtook Johnnie Walker-brand owner Diageo PLC this week as the most valuable distiller in the world with a market value of US$72 billion.

AIRLINES

United updates crew policy

United Continental Holdings Inc issued an updated policy to ensure crew traveling on its aircraft are booked at least 60 minutes prior to departure, a United spokeswoman said. The change comes after video showed passenger David Dao being pulled from his seat and dragged down the aisle after refusing to give up his place on the flight. While United is modifying its policy when it comes to booking its own crew, it did not say if its policy of overbooking flights would be changed. It said it is conducting a full review, and is to announce the results by April 30.

AIRLINES

Italy PM backs Alitalia deal

Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni on Friday urged Alitalia workers to approve a compromise deal to relaunch the nation’s struggling flagship airline that was reached in government-mediated, last-ditch negotiations between unions and Alitalia management. The deal reached early on Friday reduces proposed job and salary cuts and calls for greater investment in the long-range routes that analysts say are critical for Alitalia’s survival. It is to be put to a referendum of Alitalia workers next week. Alitalia, which was losing a reported 2 million euros (US$2.12 million) per day, employs 12,500 people worldwide. The agreement also calls for new long-range flights to boost revenue.

PHARMACEUTICALS

US rejects Olumiant

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday declined to approve a new drug for rheumatoid arthritis made by Eli Lilly & Co and partner Incyte Corp, the companies said on Friday. The FDA indicated that additional clinical data were needed to determine the most appropriate doses of the drug, Olumiant, also known as baricitinib, and to further characterize safety concerns across treatment arms.

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