Fri, Jun 30, 2017 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

VIETNAM

Q2 growth hits 6.17%

The nation’s economy bounced back in the second quarter posting a 6.17 percent growth rate, according to official figures released yesterday, a boost driven by gains in the industrial and services sectors. Growth in the first three months of this year hit a three-year low of 5.15 percent thanks to a slump in exports from Samsung Electronics Co, the country’s leading investor. However, GDP growth rates from April to this month jumped to 6.17 percent, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO). The surge between quarter one and two was the biggest jump since 2011, the state-controlled Vietnamnet news site cited GSO general director Nguyen Bich Lam as saying.

RETAIL

Japan’s growth slows

Japan’s retail sales growth slowed last month compared with May last year, signaling that consumers are still reluctant to open their wallets. Retail sales rose 2 percent last month from a year ago, after rising 3.2 percent in April, according to government data released yesterday. The increase last month was also lower than a market forecast of 2.6 percent growth. Measured month-on-month, sales fell 1.6 percent from April, when they rose 1.4 percent, data showed. A new consumption index rose 3.7 percent last month from a year ago, a slowdown from April, according to the JCB Consumption Now index.

GERMANY

Consumers optimistic: poll

Consumers are expected to remain cheerful through next month, pollsters GfK said yesterday, as the public falls in step with general optimism about Europe’s largest economy. GfK’s forward-looking poll of about 2,000 consumers forecast an increase of 0.2 points to reach 10.6 next month, continuing an upward trend observed over the past two months. This month saw an upturn in all the indices feeding into GfK’s indicator, with consumers expecting a stronger economy and higher incomes, as well as being more prepared to spend money.

MINING

Shareholders back sale plan

Rio Tinto shareholders yesterday overwhelmingly supported the sale of most of the mining giant’s Australian coal assets to China-backed Yancoal Australia Ltd, paving the way for the completion of the deal. Shareholders of the world’s second-largest miner, which is dual-listed in Britain and Australia, voted 97.2 percent in favor of the US$2.45 billion offer at their respective annual general meetings, Rio said in a statement. The decision came days after Rio’s board said it favored Yancoal over two bids for the assets in New South Wales state from Swiss commodities giant Glencore PLC, which were more than US$100 million higher.

PACKAGING

DS Smith to buy US firm

DS Smith PLC, a British maker of corrugated cardboard, recycled paper and plastic packaging, said it has agreed to buy 80 percent of Interstate Resources, a US corrugated packaging business, from Merpas Co for US$920 million. DS Smith, which has the option to buy the remaining 20 percent over five years, agreed to take on US$226 million of the family-owned business’ debt. The deal will immediately add to DS Smith’s earnings, giving it an entry into the US market. DS Smith makes corrugated trays, soft plastic containers, transport packaging and display cases. The company also reported a 31 percent jump in pretax profit to £264 million (US$342 million) for the year ending in April.

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