Fri, Aug 24, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

EUROZONE

Economy remains strong

The euro-area economy showed it is still robust as the European Central Bank prepares to wind down its bond-purchase program. IHS Markit’s composite index of manufacturing and services increased to 54.4 this month from 54.3 last month. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had predicted a reading of 54.5. Overall, third-quarter growth could match the second quarter’s 0.4 percent, and indicators of current activity, employment and prices were all elevated, the report showed. Still, the rate of expansion is one of the weakest over the past year and a half, Markit said.

SAUDI ARABIA

Aramco IPO going ahead

The government yesterday rejected reports that Saudi Arabian Oil Co’s (Aramco) planned initial public offering (IPO) had been scrapped, saying the kingdom has stepped up preparations for the stock market debut of the state energy giant. “The government remains committed to the IPO of Saudi Aramco at a time of its own choosing when conditions are optimum,” Saudi Minister of Energy and Industry Khaled al-Falih said in a statement. Fresh speculation about the listing swirled late on Wednesday after a media report that the kingdom had halted the plan.

AUTOMAKERS

VW after self-driving tech

Volkswagen AG (VW) is on the hunt for self-driving technology and has tried to buy Aurora Innovation, an autonomous-driving start-up founded by veterans of Tesla Inc and Alphabet Inc, people familiar with the matter said. The German carmaker has been scouring Silicon Valley for targets or partnerships that can help it develop self-driving cars and other mobility technology. VW had talks to buy Aurora, which is already a partner, only to be rebuffed because the firm wanted to maintain its independence and work with multiple carmakers, the people said.

FOOD AND BEVERAGE

San Miguel plans huge deal

San Miguel Corp is seeking as much as 142.8 billion pesos (US$2.67 billion) for shares of its food and beer unit, in a deal that would be the biggest Philippine stock offering on record. The country’s largest company plans to offer as many as 1.02 billion shares of San Miguel Food and Beverage Inc in the fourth quarter at an indicative price of 140 pesos each, it said in stock exchange filing yesterday.

INTERNET

Apple vetoes Facebook app

Facebook Inc is to pull its Onavo Protect virtual private network (VPN) application from Apple Inc’s App Store after getting word that it violates Apple’s data collection rules, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. The free application creates an encrypted VPN connection that routes Internet activity through computer servers managed and secured by Facebook. The app also alerts users when sites they visit might be malicious. Facebook did not comment on the matter.

E-COMMERCE

Walmart offers e-books

Walmart Inc on Wednesday launched a digital book shop in collaboration with Japanese e-commerce powerhouse Rakuten Inc’s electronic book service Kobo. The Walmart eBooks Web site boasting more than 6 million titles along with audiobooks is to compete head-on with a core offering of rival Amazon.com Inc. Subscriptions to the Walmart audiobook service are US$9.99 per month, compared with US$14.95 for a comparable service at Amazon.

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