Fri, Nov 30, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



Nine charged for theft

South Korea charged nine people and two companies with illegally selling Samsung Electronics Co’s bendable screen technology to a Chinese rival. The CEO of a Samsung supplier and eight of his employees received 15.5 billion won (US$13.8 million) after conspiring with two representatives of the Chinese firm to transfer OLED knowhow, prosecutors in Suwon said in a statement. The names of the companies and individuals were not disclosed. The South Korean supplier transferred “3D lamination” technology and other equipment to the Chinese screen maker between May and August, violating a non-disclosure agreement with Samsung, the prosecutors said. They were caught while loading additional pieces onto a ship headed for the mainland, they said.


Go-Jek trials in Singapore

Indonesia’s Go-Jek yesterday launched a trial version of its ride-hailing taxi app in Singapore, ahead of a full entry planned early next year as it aims to take on market leader Grab. Go-Jek is in the middle of a US$500 million expansion plan beyond its Indonesian base with a focus on Southeast Asia, and has recently introduced services in Vietnam and Thailand. The Singaporean market has been dominated by homegrown tech firm Grab since it bought US-based rival Uber’s ride-hailing and food business in Southeast Asia earlier this year, ending a bruising competition.


Economy fell 0.2% in Q3

The economy unexpectedly shrank in the third quarter, blighted by a drop in exports and weak domestic demand. No economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast the contraction of 0.2 percent — the median prediction was for an expansion of 0.4 percent. The economy grew 2.4 percent from a year earlier. The Swiss National Bank’s most recent forecast, in September, was for growth of 2.5 to 3 percent this year. Yet recent forward-looking indicators have suggested momentum is due to slow down. The nation’s export-oriented machine, electrical and metals industry expects order growth to level off, citing signs of a slowdown in major economies.


Gas price slips below US$2

Sub-US$2 gasoline can now be found in at least one gas station in 20 US states, as the effects of the bear market in crude oil trickle down to motorists. The lowest per-gallon (3.8 liters) retail price, US$1.69, was found at a Buc-ee’s station in Denton, Texas, according to GasBuddy, a company that helps drivers find cheap fuel. The national average has fallen for seven straight weeks to US$2.53 a gallon, the lowest since March. The plunge in gasoline comes after crude futures fell by a third from last month’s peak.


Economy contracts 0.2%

The economy slid in the third quarter, missing estimates and casting doubts over the central bank’s plan to hike rates as soon as next month. GDP fell 0.2 percent from the prior quarter, but was up 1.6 percent from the same period last year, Statistics Sweden said in a statement. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had predicted quarterly growth of 0.2 percent. The data comes on the back of falling confidence levels and disappointing retail sales, and is bound to be taken into account by the Riksbank as it decides whether to raise rates next month or wait until February. The quarterly contraction, on the back of falling household consumption, was the first decline since the second quarter of 2013.

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