Fri, Dec 28, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

VIETNAM

Growth hits 7.3% in Q4

Growth accelerated in the fourth quarter as stronger manufacturing output helped the economy remain one of the world’s best performers. The country’s GDP grew by 7.3 percent in the three months through this month from the same period last year, up from a revised 6.82 percent in the previous quarter, the General Statistics Office (GSO) in Hanoi said yesterday. Economic growth for the full year was 7.1 percent, it said, compared with the median estimate of 6.9 percent in a Bloomberg survey of 12 economists. “Manufacturing is a bright spot of the economy,” GSO Director-General Nguyen Bich Lam said at a briefing. Lam said he expects growth to remain strong next year as free-trade deals boost exports. Manufacturing this year rose 13 percent from last year, while realized foreign direct investment rose 9 percent. Exports increased 13.8 percent, with sales of electronics goods surging. Vietnam posted a trade deficit of US$200 million this month.

RUSSIA

Economy could slow further

The economy could hit some speed bumps next year and inflation could rise, due to risks of new sanctions, a weaker ruble and a planned tax increase, a Reuters monthly poll showed yesterday. Economic growth has been below the global average in the past few years, hampered by a weak and volatile currency, a drop in oil prices and sanctions imposed by the EU and the US from 2014, after Russia’s annexation of Crimea. After expanding by 1.7 percent this year, GDP was seen growing by 1.4 percent next year, the consensus forecast of 17 analysts and economists showed. That is below the World Bank’s estimate that the global economy grew 3.1 percent this year. “The next year will be tough. Economic growth will slow amid an increase to the value-added tax, higher inflation and lending rates,” Renaissance Capital chief economist Oleg Kouzmin said.

AVIATION

Vinci to take over Gatwick

Vinci SA has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Gatwick Airport for £2.9 billion (US$3.66 billion) as the French construction company expands its portfolio of aviation infrastructure with a major London hub. The purchase of the 50.01 percent stake from a group of investors including sovereign wealth funds from Abu Dhabi and Australia is to be completed in the first half of next year, the French company said in a statement yesterday. Existing shareholder Global Infrastructure Partners is to manage the other 49.99 percent. With 45.7 million passengers this year, Gatwick is to become the largest airport in Vinci’s global network. Gatwick has been under pressure due to intensifying competition from London’s other airports.

TECHNOLOGY

NEC to buy Denmark’s KMD

Japan’s NEC yesterday said that it would buy Denmark’s largest IT firm KMD for US$1.2 billion, as part of its effort to expand its European and global businesses. Under the plan, the information technology giant is to buy all the shares of KMD Holding APS for 8 billion krone by the end of February, NEC said in a statement. “Through this acquisition, NEC will acquire a business model that leverages platforms in the digital government domain as it aims to expand business from northern Europe to the whole of Europe and globally,” it said. The acquisition is to be finalized after NEC completes the necessary procedures, including getting approval from the European Commission.

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