Fri, Jun 22, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



First-quarter growth slows

Economic growth slowed in the first quarter as uncertainty over government policies weighed on business and consumer confidence, damping investment and spending. GDP gained 0.5 percent from the fourth quarter of last year, when it rose 0.6 percent, Statistics New Zealand said in Wellington yesterday. From a year earlier, the economy expanded 2.7 percent, down from 2.9 percent in the previous three-month period. Today’s data matched economists’ median forecasts in a Bloomberg survey.


IMF approves US$50bn loan

The IMF on Wednesday formally approved a US$50 billion aid package intended to help the nation confront inflation, budget deficits and a weakening currency. The fund’s executive board approved the agreement that the government struck with IMF staff earlier this month. The nation plans to draw on the first US$15 billion tranche of the aid program, of which half will be used for budget support, while treating the remaining US$35 billion as “precautionary,” the IMF said.


Senate approves tax cuts

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has achieved an important political victory with the Senate passing personal income tax cuts worth A$144 billion (US$106 billion) over a decade. The Senate yesterday endorsed the tax cuts 37 votes to 33. The government holds only 31 of the 76 seats in the Senate. Minor parties provided the majority that the legislation needed, with opposition Labor Party senators voting against it.


Walmart finances India buy

Walmart Inc sold US$16 billion of bonds to help finance its investment in India’s biggest online seller, Flipkart Group, in the second-largest US corporate debt sale of the year. The retailer offered fixed-rate and floating-rate notes in nine parts. The longest bond, a 30-year security, yields 1.05 percentage points above US Treasuries, less than the initial 1.2 percentage points that were being pitched earlier in the day, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Walmart last month said that it would acquire a 77 percent stake in Flipkart for US$16 billion, leaving the remainder to Flipkart cofounder Binny Bansal and other shareholders.


AMC launches new pass

AMC Theatres, the world’s largest movie theater chain, on Wednesday unveiled a US$20-a-month subscription service to rival the flagging MoviePass. The theater chain announced a new service to its loyalty program, AMC Stubs, allowing subscribers to see up to three movies a week for a monthly fee of US$19.95. That is more expensive than the US$9.95 monthly fee for MoviePass, but AMC’s plan gives access to premium format screenings like IMAX and 3-D.


US giants team up on care Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Berkshire Hathaway Inc are turning to well-known author and Harvard professor Atul Gawande to transform the healthcare they offer their employees. The three corporate titans on Wednesday said that Gawande is to lead an independent company that focuses on a mission they announced earlier this year: figuring out ways to provide high-quality, affordable care. Health care researchers have said that the alliance could shake up how Americans shop for care.

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