Fri, Nov 02, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

EGYPT

Cairo sets external debt cap

The nation is aiming for an external borrowing ceiling of US$14.326 billion in the July 2019 to June 2020 fiscal year, a government document seen by Reuters yesterday showed. The nation expects total foreign debt to reach US$102.863 billion and aims to repay US$10.326 billion to foreign lenders, the document showed. The nation has also reached an agreement with the IMF on the release of the next US$2 billion loan instalment, the fifth under its three-year aid program, the IMF said on Wednesday. The agreement with the IMF staff is subject to approval by the executive board of the Washington-based crisis lender. The loan program was signed in November 2016, and with this payment Cairo would have received US$10 billion of the total.

RETAIL

Zozo ending Zozosuit

Japanese online clothing retailer Zozo Inc is scrapping its body-measuring Zozosuit, saying it has enough data to produce custom-sized clothes for customers without creating 3D models. The polka-dot spandex suit is to be scrapped by March, CEO Yusaku Maezawa said in a surprise announcement in Tokyo on Wednesday, following the company’s quarterly results. Zozo is to ship 3 million Zozosuits before shutting down the initiative, compared with its previous forecast of 6 million to 10 million units. That should result in cost savings of about ¥3 billion (US$26.5 million) in the fiscal year through March, he said.

UNITED KINGDOM

Growth in house prices slow

House prices rose at their slowest pace in more than five years last month, as uncertainty about the economy in the run-up to Brexit weighed on the market, mortgage lender Nationwide said yesterday. Compared with October last year, prices rose 1.6 percent, down from an increase of 2 percent in September and below a median forecast of 1.9 percent in a Reuters poll of economists. That was the weakest increase since May 2013, before the UK housing market started to throw off the after-effects of the global financial crisis. Prices were flat last month in monthly terms after a 0.2 percent increase in September, Nationwide said.

GAMING

Macau revenue up 2.6%

Gambling revenue in the Chinese territory of Macau rose 2.6 percent last month from a year earlier to 27.3 billion patacas (US$3.38 billion), the highest monthly total since 2014, bolstered by solid demand from Chinese punters keen to play in the nation’s only legal casino hub. Last month also marked the 27th consecutive monthly increase, although the rate of growth slowed as rising macroeconomic concerns in China dented sentiment in the high-end VIP segment.

INSURANCE

Ping An planning IPO

Ping An Insurance (Group) Co (平安保險), China’s biggest insurer by market value, is planning a Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) of its healthcare technology unit that could raise about US$2 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said. A listing of Ping An Healthcare Technology, which provides platforms used by hospitals, insurers and pharmacies, could take place as soon as next year, the people said. The insurer is talking to potential advisers about the planned share sale, the people said on condition of anonymity. It would join Ping An Good Doctor (平安好醫生), a separate Ping An subsidiary that offers online medical consultations, in seeking to sell shares to fund expansion after raising US$1.1 billion in a Hong Kong IPO in April.

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