Fri, Mar 16, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

NEW ZEALAND

Q4 growth disappoints

The economy grew less than expected in the final quarter of last year, reinforcing bets that the central bank is in no rush to raise interest rates. GDP gained 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter from the third, when it also rose 0.6 percent, Statistics New Zealand said yesterday. The economy expanded 2.9 percent from 2016, less than the 3.1 percent forecast. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand last month signaled that it would keep the official cash rate at 1.75 percent until the middle of next year and traders see just a 40 percent chance of a hike before the end of this year.

CHINA

FDI edges up 0.5%

Foreign direct investment (FDI) rose 0.5 percent year-on-year to 139.4 billion yuan (US$22.06 billion) in the first two months of the year, the Ministry of Commerce said on its Web site yesterday. Foreign investment into high-tech manufacturing totaled 14.53 billion yuan over the period, up 89.7 percent. Meanwhile, China Investment Corp (中國投資), an US$814 billion sovereign wealth fund, said it plans to expand investments in areas such as real estate, hedge funds, infrastructure and private equity for more stable returns, as it reduces exposure to volatile public markets.

AUTOMOTIVE

Lyft, Magna team up

Lyft Inc has struck a multimillion-dollar partnership with North America’s biggest automotive supplier to fund and develop systems needed to make self-driving vehicles a reality. Magna International Inc and Lyft are to share the intellectual property from codeveloping autonomous vehicles, and Magna will be free to sell the technology to auto companies. In addition to helping fund the partnership, Magna has made a US$200 million equity investment in Lyft, extending the ride-hailing company’s most recent financing round to US$1.7 billion.

SEMICONDUCTORS

Broadcom withdraws bid

Broadcom Ltd has officially withdrawn its US$117 billion bid to buy US chipmaker Qualcomm Inc, two days after US President Donald Trump blocked the Singaporean company’s ambitions over national security fears. Broadcom on Wednesday said that it was disappointed with Trump’s decision. The company withdrew its proposed candidates for Qualcomm’s board, but said it still plans to move its headquarters to the US.

RETAIL

Inditex profit growth slows

Spain’s retail giant Inditex SA, which owns Zara, on Wednesday said that net profit for last year rose by a slower 7 percent due in part to a warm autumn, as it tackles an increase in online shopping. Inditex, which owns eight brands, including Zara, Bershka and Massimo Dutti, said net profit rose to 3.37 billion euros (US$4.2 billion), a slower increase than in 2015 and 2016. The Spanish company’s sales rose 9 percent to 25.3 billion euros.

AIRLINES

Lufthansa posts record profit

German airline giant Lufthansa AG yesterday reported record profits for last year, celebrating a year that saw it bury a smouldering dispute with pilots and gobble up parts of defunct rival Air Berlin. Net profits at the group — which includes Lufthansa, Eurowings, Swiss, Brussels Airlines and Austrian Airlines — added 33.1 percent to hit 2.36 billion euros, higher than the 2.28 billion euros predicted by analysts. Group revenue grew 12.4 percent to 35.6 billion euros.

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