Sun, Jan 28, 2018 - Page 16 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

TRADE

US ‘willing to negotiate’

US President Donald Trump on Friday said he is willing to negotiate trade deals individually or as a group with the nations that remain in the Trans-Pacific Partnership that he pulled the US out of after taking office. Trump said in a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that trade needs to be fair and reciprocal. The US is prepared to negotiate mutually beneficial bilateral trade agreements with all countries, including those in the partnership that involves 11 other Pacific Rim nations, he said.

CANADA

Call cost falls 7.6 percent

Canadians just got the biggest break on the cost of making a call since before the dawn of the smartphone era: Prices for telephone services last month slumped 7.6 percent, the biggest monthly decrease since at least 1988, as the nation’s cellular providers offered deals to lure customers, the federal statistics agency reported on Friday. That contributed to a drop in headline inflation, which fell 0.4 percent on the month, the most in more than a year.

JORDAN

Pita subsidies lifted

Officials said a decision to end subsidies on staple pita bread that would lift its prices by between 60 and 100 percent was to take effect yesterday, the first such step in more than two decades to ease the nation’s budget woes. The price of 1kg of white pita bread was raised 60 percent to 0.40 dinars (US$0.56) from 0.25 dinars and prices of large pita bread were nearly doubled. Other types of bread that most middle-class Jordanians consume are not affected.

CHINA

Industry profit growth stable

Profit growth at industrial firms moderated for a third month, after factory inflation decelerated to the weakest pace in more than a year. Industrial profits last month rose 10.8 percent from a year earlier, compared with 14.9 percent in November, the statistics bureau said on Friday. That is the slowest pace of increase in a year. The producer price index fell for a second month last month, the bureau said.

FINANCE

SoFi buys mortgage teams

Social Finance Inc (SoFi) has acquired the engineering and product teams of mortgage start-up Clara Lending, bolstering the financial technology company’s offerings beyond student-loan refinancing. SoFi on Friday said that taking on the Clara teams allows it to “immediately ramp up our technical capabilities.” The San Francisco-based SoFi said earlier this week that Twitter Inc chief operating officer Anthony Noto would become its chief executive in March, replacing Mike Cagney, who resigned in September last year.

BEVERAGES

Starbucks announces pay

Starbucks Corp paid CEO Kevin Johnson US$11.5 million for last year, according to a regulatory filing on Friday. Johnson, 57, took the helm of the coffee chain in April last year. Founder Howard Schultz, whose salary was cut to US$1 as part of his transition to chairman, received US$18 million in total compensation. The company this week said it plans to spend US$250 million on new employee benefits in the wake of the US tax overhaul. The company also announced raises for 150,000 hourly and salaried US employees.

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