Wed, Nov 15, 2017 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

GERMANY

Economy powers ahead

The economy powered ahead in the third quarter, underpinning a recovery in the eurozone. GDP rose 0.8 percent in the July to September period after increasing 0.6 percent in the previous three months, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said yesterday. That was the fastest pace in three quarters and well above the 0.6 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Output expanded 2.8 percent from the previous year when adjusted for working days. The report confirmed the Bundesbank’s forecast that the economy carried its strong growth momentum into the second half, putting it on course for its best performance since 2011 and potentially straining up against its maximum capacity. As the eurozone’s largest economy, that expansion is bolstering the currency bloc’s upturn and supporting the global outlook. Growth in the third quarter was driven by exports and capital investment, the statistics office said. Net trade made a positive contribution to GDP and spending on equipment was especially strong.

RETAILERS

Tesco deal wins approval

Tesco PLC yesterday won provisional approval for its £3.7 billion (US$4.9 billion) takeover of wholesaler Booker Group PLC from the UK competition regulator, moving Britain’s biggest retailer closer to securing a new avenue of growth. The Competition and Markets Authority said it had conducted an in-depth review and provisionally concluded that Tesco’s purchase of Booker does not raise competition concerns. Most analysts had expected that Tesco would have to agree store disposals to gain clearance. Both Tesco and Booker, the nation’s biggest grocery wholesaler, welcomed the announcement. Tesco said it expects to complete the deal, which also requires shareholder approval, early next year. The authority said it found that Tesco as a retailer and Booker as a wholesaler supplying caterers and independent retailers do not compete in most of their activities.

HEALTHCARE

Digital pill approved in US

US regulators have approved the first digital pill with an embedded sensor to track if patients are taking their medication properly, marking a significant step forward in the convergence of healthcare and technology. The medicine is a version of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co Ltd’s established drug Abilify for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression, containing a tracking device developed by Proteus Digital Health. The system offers doctors an objective way to measure if patients are swallowing their pills on schedule, opening up a new avenue for monitoring medicine compliance that could be applied in other therapeutic areas. Otsuka shares yesterday rose 2.5 percent after news of the US Food and Drug Administration approval late on Monday. The agency said that being able to track ingestion of medicines prescribed for mental illness might be useful “for some patients,” although the ability of the digital pill to improve patient compliance had not been proved.

ELECTRONICS

Toshiba to sell TV business

Struggling Japanese conglomerate Toshiba Corp yesterday said it has decided to sell its television business to China’s Hisense Group (海信) as part of its efforts to restore its balance sheet. Toshiba agreed with the Chinese group to sell a 95 percent stake of its Toshiba Visual Solutions unit for about ¥12.9 billion (US$114 million), it said in a statement. “Toshiba has been considering structural reforms that will... strengthen Toshiba’s financial base,” the firm said.

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