Wed, Jan 24, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

PHILIPPINES

GDP grew 6.7%: government

The country retained its position as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies after expansion exceeded 6 percent for a sixth consecutive year. GDP increased 6.7 percent last year, the Philippine Statistics Authority said in Manila yesterday, matching the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists. The economy grew 6.6 percent in the fourth quarter of last year from a year earlier, slightly less than the 6.7 percent median estimate, prompting the peso and stocks to drop. The country is expected to keep its momentum, with the World Bank predicting growth of more than 6 percent per year until next year. President Rodrigo Duterte has been reforming tax laws to boost the nation’s competitiveness and raise revenue, while pushing ahead with an ambitious US$180 billion infrastructure program that includes Manila’s first subway.

REAL ESTATE

Wynn Palace to expand

Wynn Resorts Ltd plans to expand its newest property on Macau’s Cotai Strip after the project helped the company report better-than-expected earnings last quarter. The next phase of the US$4.2 billion Wynn Palace, which opened in August 2016, is to be developed on 4.45 hectares, chairman Steve Wynn said on a conference call. He did not provide details of the plans. “The depth and the foundational strength of that market is real,” Wynn said on Monday. “We have been encouraged by the government in conversations with them to file our plans for phase two, which we’re working on now.” Wynn Macau Ltd (永利澳門), the company’s Chinese subsidiary, reported stronger-than-expected results for the fourth quarter. Property earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization totaled US$376 million, up 66 percent from a year earlier and beating the median analysts’ estimate of US$360 million.

INSURANCE

AIG plans to acquire Validus

Leading global insurer American International Group Inc (AIG) on Monday announced a US$5.6 billion deal to purchase Validus Holdings, expanding its portfolio of insurance services. AIG is to acquire all outstanding common shares of Validus, a leading provider of reinsurance, primary insurance and asset management services, the companies said. AIG said that in addition to those services, the deal would allow it to add “complementary capabilities in the US crop and excess and surplus markets.” Validus shareholders are to receive US$68 per share. “Validus is an excellent strategic fit for AIG, bringing new businesses and capabilities to our general insurance operation,” AIG CEO Brian Duperreault said.

ENTERTAINMENT

Meraas mulls stake sale

Dubai, United Arab Emirates-based property developer Meraas Holding LLC is weighing the sale of a significant minority stake in its Roxy Cinemas unit to raise funds for expansion, according to people familiar with the matter. Meraas is to start gauging interest from potential buyers shortly, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. The company operates three cinemas in Dubai under the Roxy brand, according to its Web site. Meraas declined to comment. Merger and acquisition deals for movie theaters are increasing as investors seek consumer-facing businesses with growth potential. UK’s Cineworld Group PLC last year agreed to buy US theater operator Regal Entertainment Group for about US$3.6 billion to expand into the biggest movie market.

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