Thu, Aug 23, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Busuniess Quick Take

Agencies

TRADE

NAFTA deal draws closer

The US and Mexico moved closer toward a consensus on how to forge a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), even though key hurdles remain, several people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. Progress has been made during five weeks of discussions on issues, including rules for cars, but there is no broader agreement on reshaping NAFTA, two US administration officials said. Canada has no notice of any deal being reached and considers several issues still outstanding, two Canadian government officials said. Canada has not been involved in face-to-face negotiations with Mexico and the US for weeks.

ELECTRONICS

Viomi planning US IPO

Viomi (雲米), a supplier of Internet-connected home appliances to Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp (小米), is planning an initial public offering (IPO) in the US, people with knowledge of the matter said. The four-year-old company could seek about US$200 million in the share sale, the people said. Viomi aims to list as soon as this year, one of the people said. Viomi, based in Foshan, China, counts Sequoia Capital and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte among its investors, according to its Web site. The company would become the second Xiaomi partner to go public, after fitness-tracker maker Huami Corp (華米) raised US$126.5 million in an IPO in the US in February.

GAMING

Sea losses expand in Q2

Sea Ltd, the operator of Southeast Asia’s biggest gaming platform, posted a wider quarterly loss as it invests in building up e-commerce platform Shopee. The net loss was US$250.8 million in the three months that ended in June, compared with a loss of US$92.1 million during the same period last year, Singapore-based Sea said in an e-mailed statement. Total revenue rose to US$183.8 million from US$101.5 million year-on-year. Sea has struggled with losses since an IPO in October last year amid widening losses. Revenue at digital entertainment unit Garena grew 18 percent to US$108 million during the quarter, aided by game development and efforts to move to mobile titles.

AGRICULTURE

Nufarm to open US facility

An Australian farm chemical and seed company is to open a distribution facility in Mississippi, investing US$20 million and hiring 68 people. Nufarm Ltd on Tuesday said that it was buying a building from the city of Greenville for the site, with plans to begin operations in summer next year. Nufarm would repackage and ship products sent to Greenville from other facilities, Mississippi Development Authority spokeswoman Tammy Craft said. Local and state officials are to grant the company more than US$6 million in tax breaks and incentives.

AIRLINES

Air Canada buys Aeroplan

Air Canada led a consortium of banks in buying back Canada’s leading loyalty program, Aeroplan, and on Tuesday said it plans to roll it into its own points card. Air Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Visa Canada offered to buy Aeroplan from its parent, Aimia Inc, for C$450 million (US$345.69 million) in cash and assuming C$1.9 billion in reward points liabilities. This follows a hostile takeover bid last month for significantly less. Air Canada invented Aeroplan more than three decades ago to reward frequent flyers, but later spun it into a separate company.

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