Sun, Oct 07, 2018 - Page 14 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

MEXICO

Banker hints at rate cut

The economist tipped to be Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s first central bank board nominee said that he expects the key interest rate to be cut next year, given the outlook for slowing inflation and growth. “Next year we’re likely to be in a period where the economy is going to decelerate, and, at the same time, we will have inflation going down,” Jonathan Heath, a former chief economist at HSBC Holdings PLC in Mexico, said on Friday. “I believe that in the appropriate moment next year they will begin to reduce rates, though perhaps cautiously.”

APPAREL

Cambodia hikes wages

Cambodia on Friday hiked the monthly minimum wage for garment workers by US$12 from US$170, fulfilling an election promise by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. The country’s US$7 billion apparel industry is fueled by more than 740,000 garment workers, who Hun Sen attempted to woo before July’s widely criticized elections. Union representatives said that the hike is not enough to address rising inflation and living expenses.

RETAIL

Mattress Firm goes bankrupt

Mattress Firm Inc, the US’ largest mattress retailer, on Friday filed for bankruptcy protection, saying that its rapid expansion of stores over the past few years — with locations often very close to each other — has resulted in “cannibalization” of sales. The Houston-based company filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code in federal court in Delaware, saying that it plans to close up to 700 stores around countrywide as part of its reorganization plan to continue operating.

RETAIL

Worker broke privacy rules

Amazon.com Inc said that it fired an employee who disclosed customer e-mail addresses to a third-party merchant on the Web site in violation of the e-commerce giant’s policies. “The individual responsible for this incident has been terminated from their position,” an Amazon spokesman said in a statement. Amazon alerted the shoppers, although the company said no change of password was needed. The company did not disclose how many customers were affected.

LOGISTICS

UPS union rejects contract

United Parcel Service Inc’s (UPS) union on Friday voted down a five-year labor contract. Opponents of the main contract balked at a US$13-per-hour starting wage for part-timers, US$2 short of what some workers demanded. They were also unhappy with the creation of a new hybrid class of weekend drivers that are to load packages and earn less than current parcel drivers.

INVESTMENT

GIC acquires Masan stake

GIC Pte, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, has purchased a stake in Vietnamese conglomerate Masan Group Corp, people with knowledge of the matter said. The state investment firm bought about half of KKR & Co’s 4.7 percent stake in Masan, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. It purchased the stock as part of a placement by KKR, which offloaded its entire holding in a US$209 million deal, the people said.

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