Sun, Nov 12, 2017 - Page 16 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

HONG KONG

Growth forecast upgraded

Hong Kong’s trade-reliant economy posted slower growth in the third quarter, but strong consumption and rebounding exports led the government to nudge up its growth outlook for this year. Government data released on Friday showed that the economy grew a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent in the third quarter, compared with upwardly revised 1.1 percent growth previously. From a year earlier, the economy expanded 3.6 percent. Economists had forecast an expansion of 3.5 percent. Now, the government revised its full-year estimate of 3.7 percent growth for this year, compared with a previous forecast of 3 to 4 percent.

UNITED KINGDOM

Industrial output rebounds

Britain’s industrial output rebounded in September despite gloom over Brexit, official data showed on Friday. Industrial output rose 0.7 percent compared with activity in August, with a solid contribution from manufacturing, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement. It was a sixth successive month of expanding industrial production for the first time in 23 years, and outpaced market expectations for 0.3 percent growth. Manufacturing output, which excludes mining and quarrying, electricity, gas and water supply, also grew 0.7 percent in September from August.

STEEL

Kobe releases scandal report

Kobe Steel Ltd is pointing to a zealous pursuit of profit, unrealistic targets and an insular corporate culture as the causes of massive faked inspection data at the Japanese metals maker. The company on Friday released a 27-page report of its findings on what led to the scandal and measures to prevent a recurrence. It said safety has been confirmed at 474 companies so far. The report calls for shaping a corporate culture that values quality controls, not just profit, so that the company can try to win back trust from society. The company plans to release findings of another report by third-party officials next month.

PHARMACEUTICALS

Pfizer drops China venture

Pfizer Inc has sold its stake in a joint venture with China’s Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceuticals Co (浙江海正藥業). New York-based Pfizer said its 49 percent equity stake was sold to Sapphire Holdings Ltd. Pfizer spokesman Steve Danehy declined to say how much Pfizer is to get. The US$295 million partnership was announced in 2011 and formalized a year later, and was meant to develop, manufacture and commercialize pharmaceutical products in China and throughout the world. The sale would allow Pfizer and Hisun to focus on “their core strengths,” the companies said in a statement.

DATA SECURITY

Equifax breach costs to rise

A massive security breach that hit Equifax Inc has cost the US credit bureau nearly US$90 million so far, a figure that is set to rise further, chief financial officer John Gamble said on Thursday. Equifax is forecasting between US$60 and US$75 million in spending that is to include information technology security in the fourth quarter, Gamble said. The group’s earnings have also been affected, particularly due to customer dissatisfaction, Equifax said. Its net income fell 27 percent to US$96.3 million in the third quarter.

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