Tue, Oct 30, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

INDIA

Home loans face uncertainty

Home builders have increasingly been turning to non-bank lenders for funding as traditional financiers struggle under bad loans. However, following the government’s seizure of troubled shadow bank Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd this month, that avenue might be choked off too. With non-banking financial companies themselves struggling, “their disbursal of loans to developers has slowed significantly,” Anarock Property Consultants Pvt chairman Anuj Puri said. This has “hijacked Indian real-estate’s growth story over the short to mid-term.” Things had been looking up for real estate, with apartment sales increasing 8 percent in the first nine months of the year and new project launches up 18 percent from a year earlier, according to Anarock.

AUSTRALIA

Study examines wage issues

A study of wage theft and working conditions among international students, backpackers and other temporary migrants has found that almost one-third earned A$12 (US$8.5) an hour or less, approximately half the casual minimum wage. The survey also found large-scale wage theft was worst in fruit and vegetable-picking and farm work, where 15 percent of workers earned A$5 an hour or less. The findings were published in the report Wage Theft in Australia published yesterday and authored by senior law lecturers Bassina Farbenblum, from the University of New South Wales, and Laurie Berg, from the University of Technology Sydney.

AUTOMAKERS

Fiat Chrysler eyes second

With a strategy of loading up its revamped Ram 1500 full-size trucks with new features ranging from 12-inch touch screens on the dashboard to large battery packs and electric motors to help adjust speed and gears and conserve fuel, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is banking on a sustained surge in demand. Fiat Chrysler chief executive officer Mike Manley is reconsidering a decision announced in January to stop building Ram heavy-duty pickups at a plant in Saltillo, Mexico. That plant, and another in Warren, Michigan, between them would produce other Ram models and free up manufacturing capacity to make even more new trucks to eat into sales of Ford Motor Co’s F-Series or General Motors Co’s Chevrolet Silverado and its higher-end GMC Sierra. “We need to get ourselves into second” place, Manley told reporters. “Frankly, I don’t care which of the two I take share from.”

CRIME

Nokia linked to laundering

Nokia Oyj has been identified as the biggest individual recipient of potentially illicit funds relating to money laundering allegations against Nordea Bank Abp, investor Bill Browder said. As much as US$97.2 million that might have been laundered ended up in Nokia’s accounts at Nordea, according to a document focusing on potentially illicit transactions in Finland. Browder filed his complaint earlier this month to Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation and the prosecutor general. Nokia spokesman Brett Young said the allegations appear to be related to Nokia’s mobile-phone business, which it divested in 2014, and are thus “unrelated to our current operations.” Browder said he has evidence that as much as US$405 million was laundered through Nordea in a case he alleges is linked to the scandal engulfing Danske Bank A/S. He said that the money received by Nokia came from fictitious companies with accounts at Ukio Bank in Lithuania that were set up to launder money and evade taxes.

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