Tue, Nov 07, 2017 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



Growth slower than expected

The economy expanded at a slower pace in the third quarter than economists expected, a disappointing outcome for the government as it struggles to boost growth. Gross domestic product rose 5.06 percent from a year earlier, according to data released yesterday by the Central Bureau of Statistics. The median estimate of 17 surveyed economists was for growth of 5.2 percent. The economy grew 3.18 percent from the previous quarter, just short of the economists’ estimate of 3.2 percent. “The third-quarter GDP outturn poses downside risks to our forecast of growth accelerating to 5.5 percent in the second half from 5 percent in the first half, hence our full-year 2017 GDP growth of 5.3 percent,” Nomura Holdings Inc economists Euben Paracuelles and Brian Tan said.


NetEase ups global spending

NetEase Inc (網易科技), China’s second-largest video game publisher, is deepening a push into e-commerce with plans to increase spending on products from the US, Europe and Japan to sell to local consumers. The company’s Kaola e-commerce business is to buy about US$11 billion of inventory over the next three years from the US, Europe and Japan to woo customers with everything from Dutch baby formula to Japanese cosmetics, Kaola chief executive Zhang Lei (張蕾) said in an interview. Best known for games, including bringing global title Overwatch to the Chinese market, Netease is bolstering growth by tapping into local demand for established international brands.


Factory orders rise again

Factory orders unexpectedly rose for a second month, adding to signs that Europe’s largest economy is to continue expanding at a solid pace. Orders, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, increased 1 percent in September after an upwardly revised surge of 4.1 percent in August, Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy data showed yesterday. The typically volatile reading compares with a median estimate for a 1.1 percent decline in a Bloomberg survey. Demand was up 9.5 percent from the previous year. The nation is on track for continued robust growth in the third quarter, the Bundesbank said, with manufacturing set to remain a “pillar” of the upswing thanks to “vigorous” export demand and an “excellent” level of orders. Strong momentum in the 19-nation euro region and the European Central Bank’s decision to extend asset purchases into next year will also support the economy.


Bad loans upset DBS profits

DBS Group Holdings Ltd chief executive Piyush Gupta was determined to put soured energy-industry loans behind him — even if it meant profit missing the lowest analyst estimate by a wide margin. Southeast Asia’s largest bank yesterday said it boosted bad-loan allowances more than sixfold in the third quarter, resulting in a 23 percent drop in net income to S$822 million (US$602 million). The move “will enable investors to return their focus to our operating performance and digital agenda,” Gupta said in a statement. Not sharing his optimism, investors sent the shares down the most in five weeks. Singapore banks have been struggling with rising provisions against the troubled regional oil and gas sector since Swiber Holdings Ltd filed for judicial management last year. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd (華僑銀行) and United Overseas Bank Ltd (大華銀行) said in their quarterly reports that the energy-services industry remains under stress.

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