Thu, Jan 18, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

AUTOMAKERS

Europe car sales hit record

The number of new cars sold in Europe topped the 15 million mark for the first time in a decade last year, according to data published yesterday by the bloc’s industry body. New car registrations rose for the fourth consecutive year, growing by 3.4 percent to 15.1 million units last year, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association said in a statement. The strongest increases in sales last year were seen in Italy and Spain, where new registrations were up 7.9 percent and 7.7 percent respectively. Sales were up 4.7 percent in France and 2.7 percent in Germany, but slumped 5.7 percent in Britain, the data showed.

BIOTECHNOLOGY

Celgene, Juno in talks

Celgene Corp is in talks to buy Seattle-based Juno Therapeutics Inc, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. Juno is a leader in the effort to use the immune system to treat cancer. If a deal is reached, it would continue a string of acquisitions by Celgene, which is under pressure to find ways to offset generic competition for top-selling cancer treatment Revlimid. Celgene, based in Summit, New Jersey, last week agreed to buy closely held Impact Biomedicines for US$1.1 billion up-front, gaining an experimental blood cancer treatment. The value of that deal could climb to as much as US$7 billion over time if the drug reaches certain milestones.

FASHION

Burberry sales miss forecast

Burberry Group PLC’s holiday sales rose 2 percent on a comparable basis for the quarter ended Dec. 31 last year, the London-based company said yesterday, missing the 4 percent growth predicted by analysts in a Bloomberg News survey. The company yesterday left its guidance for operating profit in the full fiscal year unchanged, saying it was on track toward new chief executive Marco Gobbetti’s strategic goals. Quarterly revenue in the US, a persistent problem area, was flat.

TRANSPORT

Uber curbs UK drivers’ hours

US ride-hailing app creator Uber Technologies Inc on Tuesday said it would cap the number of hours its drivers can work in Britain from next week in a bid to increase safety after heavy criticism of its business practices. The new policy means that drivers must take an uninterrupted six-hour break after 10 hours and would not be able to log on to the app during that time. The company had already been messaging drivers who were working too long to switch off its app.

INVESTMENT

Dagong downgrades US debt

A Chinese credit ratings firm has downgraded US debt, citing political “deficiencies” and “factional rivalries.” The move comes after China’s own credit rating was cut by two US agencies — Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Moody’s Investors Service — last year over concerns about the Asian country’s growing debt. Dagong Global Credit Rating Co (大公信評) cited massive tax cuts as a concern, but it also zeroed in on the political atmosphere in the US in a report on Tuesday. The firm downgraded both local and foreign currency sovereign credit ratings of the US from “A-” to “BBB+” and gave the world’s largest economy a “negative outlook.” Dagong is recognized as China’s foremost credit rating agency and claims to be the only one with joint approval from both the People’s Bank of China and the State Economic and Trade Commission.

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