Fed expects rate rises
The Federal Reserve on Friday said it expects that low unemployment and rising inflation will keep it on track to raise interest rates at a gradual pace over the next two years. By late next year, its key policy rate should be at a level that will be slightly restrictive for growth, the Fed said. The projection came with release of the central bank’s semi-annual monetary report to Congress.
EU to meet Asian leaders
The EU’s top officials are next week to meet the leaders of China and Japan to boost ties in the face of fears that US President Donald Trump will spark an all-out global trade war. The trip by EU Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker includes the signing of a free-trade deal with Japan, as well as the discussion of trade tensions and climate change in China.
Fortis settlement approved
A Dutch court on Friday ended a long-running saga over the 2008 dismantling of the Fortis bank insurance group, approving a record 1.3 billion euro (US$1.5 billion) settlement deal for out-of-pocket shareholders. The Amsterdam appeals court ruled that the deal, initially brokered in March 2016 between Belgian insurer Ageas and lawyers representing the shareholders, was “binding.” The decision over a seven-year legal battle overturned an earlier court decision in June last year, which had ruled the decision was “non-binding.”
Air bag action urged
The US government’s road safety agency is urging automakers to speed up replacement of potentially dangerous Takata Corp air bag inflators. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a statement on Friday that Heidi King, its top official, has met with 19 affected companies urging them to accelerate the recalls and to post recall plans on their Web sites. The statement did not say whether automakers agreed to the request.
Facebook hires chip head
Facebook Inc has sent another signal that it is serious about building its own semiconductors, joining Apple Inc, Alphabet Inc’s Google and Amazon.com Inc in trying to make its own custom chips. The company this month hired Shahriar Rabii to be a vice president and its head of silicon. Rabii previously worked at Google, where he helped lead the team in charge of building chips for the company’s devices, including the Pixel smartphone’s custom Visual Core chip, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Advisers favor Disney
Walt Disney Co’s US$71 billion deal with 21st Century Fox Inc won the endorsement of influential proxy advisers Institutional Shareholder Services Inc and Glass Lewis & Co, giving the entertainment giant another edge over rival suitor Comcast Corp. Both firms recommended that Fox shareholders vote in favor of the transaction at an investors’ meeting on July 27, with Glass Lewis saying that Disney offered “a unique, prospectively far-reaching opportunity” to capitalize on the acquisition.