Sun, Jul 22, 2018 - Page 14 News List

Business Quick Take

Agencies

CANADA

Inflation rises to 2.5%

The annual inflation rate rose to 2.5 percent last month, its highest level in more than six years, on the back of higher fuel and food prices, the government said on Friday. Inflation rose 2.2 percent in May and last month’s figure was higher than analysts had expected. It was the highest rate since early 2012. Last week, the Bank of Canada raised the country’s benchmark interest rate to 1.5 percent in a bid to tame rising prices. The central bank forecast that inflation would settle back to 2 percent “by the second half of 2019.”

AUTOMAKERS

Tata Motors eyes divestment

Tata Motors Ltd, the owner of Jaguar Land Rover, has restarted talks on the sale of a stake in its engineering unit just months after a deal with Warburg Pincus was called off, people with knowledge of the matter said. The carmaker has started preliminary discussions with a private equity firm that expressed interest in buying a stake in Singapore-headquartered Tata Technologies Ltd, the people said. Tata Motors plans to use proceeds from the sale on capital expenditure for its domestic automotive business, one of the people said. Tata Motors is planning further divestments after selling a stake in Tata Technologies, one of the people said.

OIL AND GAS

Shell looking to sell licenses

Royal Dutch Shell PLC is in talks to sell two Nigerian oil licenses in an area that is at the heart of environmental and human rights controversies for US$2 billion, people familiar with the plan said. The Anglo-Dutch oil major is discussing selling oil mining licenses 11 and 17 to Heirs Holdings Ltd, a company run by Nigerian tycoon Tony Elumelu, the people said. Included in the sale are infrastructure assets, such as a natural gas-fired power plant that would be managed by Transnational Corporation of Nigeria PLC, another company run by Elumelu, they said.

PHARMACEUTICALS

Bayer pulls birth control coil

Life sciences company Bayer AG on Friday said it would discontinue the sale of its birth control product Essure in the US, citing a decline in sales of the implantable device that made the business no longer sustainable. Bayer said the decision was not related to safety concerns. The company, based in Leverkusen, Germany, is facing about 16,000 US lawsuits over Essure and it said it was expecting more. The firm said it has informed the US Food and Drug Administration of its decision and would update healthcare providers.

DIPLOMACY

Iran, ASEAN to sign treaty

Iran is to sign a cooperation treaty with ASEAN at an upcoming meeting that is also to be attended by US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and North Korean officials, a Singaporean diplomat said. Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif would sign the document at a gathering of ASEAN foreign ministers starting on July 30 in Singapore, Singaporean non-resident ambassador to Iran Ong Keng Yong (王景榮) said in an interview. “The ASEAN countries welcome anyone who wants to sign onto the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation,” said Ong, a former ASEAN secretary-general.

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