Fri, Jun 16, 2017 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

NEW ZEALAND

Q1 growth rate moderate

The nation’s economy grew a “moderate” 0.5 percent in the first quarter, official data showed yesterday, falling short of market expectations as the construction sector slowed. The GDP figure just missed analysts’ predictions of an 0.7 percent rise and was well off the central bank’s 0.9 percent forecast. Statistics New Zealand said the result put growth for the 12 months to March 31 at 3 percent. Construction was down 2.1 percent for the quarter, partially offset by a 4.3 percent rise in agriculture, it said.

LABOR

UK jobless at 42-year low

Wages in Britain are falling in real terms, but the unemployment rate remains at a 42-year low, official data showed on Wednesday. Average weekly earnings, adjusted for inflation and excluding bonuses, slid 0.6 percent in the three months to April from a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics said. That was the largest drop since August 2014.

CHIPMAKERS

Western Digital seeks block

Western Digital Corp asked a court in California for an order blocking the sale of the chip unit of Toshiba Corp, its partner in a manufacturing joint venture. The US company is trying to stop Toshiba from transferring joint ventures that they have together in preparation for a sale, it said on Wednesday. It has asked a San Francisco state court to keep the sale on hold while it pursues arbitration. Meanwhile, KKR & Co and Bain Capital LP are vying for support from the Japanese government in their efforts to acquire Toshiba’s semiconductor division, the sources said.

REAL ESTATE

Singapore home sales fall

Singapore home sales fell 34 percent last month as fewer new projects were launched. Developers sold 1,024 units last month, compared with a revised 1,558 in April, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority data released yesterday. A total of 339 new properties were offered, down from 1,616 in April, the data showed. Home values have dropped 11.6 percent from their 2013 peak.

TRADE

EU launches investigations

EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager yesterday launched probes into whether Nike Inc, Universal Studios and Sanrio Co’s Hello Kitty illegally blocked retailers from selling merchandise across bloc borders. The European Commission “is investigating whether Nike, Sanrio and Universal Studios are restricting cross-border and online sales of merchandising products,” Vestager said on Wednesday. The probe involves a whole range of products, such as clothes, shoes, bags or toys featuring some of the world’s biggest brands and characters.

AUTOMAKERS

German arrested in Tokyo

A German executive working at Volkswagen AG’s Tokyo office has been arrested on drug charges, Volkswagen Group Japan KK said yesterday. Thomas Siebert, 53, was detained on Wednesday on suspicion of using an unspecified drug, it said, with media reports suggesting it was cocaine. “We deeply regret the fact that an employee of our company has been taken into police custody for a personal matter,” it said. “We will fully cooperate during the investigation.” Authorities started investigating Siebert after customs officers found what was believed to be an illegal drug mailed to his Tokyo address, media reports said. His urine tested positive for drugs and Siebert has reportedly admitted to using cocaine, the reports said.

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