Sat, May 13, 2017 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



Economy grows 0.6%

The economy expanded sharply in the first three months of this year, with GDP growing 0.6 percent from the previous three months, federal statistics authority Destatis said yesterday. It represented an acceleration over the second half of last year, when the economy had added just 0.2 percent between July and September, and 0.4 percent between October and December. First-quarter growth was driven by both foreign and domestic business. Foreign trade was also a boost, with exports growing faster than imports, Destatis said. Using a year-on-year comparison, GDP expanded by 1.7 percent, it said.


Central bank keeps rates

The central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged as policymakers judged consumer price gains will moderate and as a stronger ringgit reduced the need to guard against capital outflows. Bank Negara Malaysia kept its key rate at 3 percent, it said in a statement in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Inflation was 5.1 percent in March, the fastest pace since 2008, as higher oil prices pushed up transport costs. The central bank in March forecast inflation to average 3 to 4 percent this year, up from 2.1 percent last year. Economic growth might quicken to as high as 4.8 percent, from 4.2 percent last year, it said. The country joins the Philippines in holding their firepower even as the threat of inflation grows in Southeast Asia.


ThyssenKrupp to post loss

German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG yesterday said it would make a net loss for the financial year, slashing its forecast after the sale of a loss-making Brazilian steel mill. ThyssenKrupp, which runs its business year from October to September, said it booked net loss of 870 million euros (US$945 million) in the second quarter, or the three months to March. The industrial giant said it expected to make a “significant net loss” for the whole year. However, on an underlying or operating level, ThyssenKrupp raised its full-year profit forecast to 1.8 billion euros from 1.7 billion euros previously.


VW settles with US owners

A federal judge in San Francisco has approved a US$1.2 billion settlement with owners of about 88,500 Volkswagen (VW) vehicles with 3-liter diesel engines rigged to cheat on emissions tests. Judge Charles Breyer gave the deal final approval during a hearing on Thursday. The deal ends most of the litigation over Volkswagen AG cheating scandal, which became public in 2015. Owners of 3-liter models from 2009 to 2012 that cannot be fixed to meet pollution standards would be offered buybacks. They also would get compensation from US$7,755 to US$13,880. Those who own newer cars would get compensation of US$7,039 to US$16,114.


Tower completion delayed

The completion date for the world’s tallest tower has been pushed back to 2019, a Saudi Arabian billionaire said on Thursday, almost six years after launching the record-breaking project. Jeddah Tower is to rise more than 1km, placing it above Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. “The project was delayed ... but it’ll open [in] 2019,” Prince Alwaleed bin Talal told reporters during a visit to the site beside the Red Sea. The project contractor Saudi Binladin Group was among construction firms in the kingdom that suffered financially after a collapse in oil revenues from 2014.

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