Sat, Dec 29, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



Cash injection for United Bank

United Bank of India became the first of the country’s ailing state-run banks to announce a new cash injection from the government, disclosing in a filing on Thursday that it would receive 21.6 billion rupees (US$308.46 million) to improve its capital ratios. The move is part of the government’s plans to infuse a combined 830 billion rupees into state-run banks by March, after injecting 1.06 trillion rupees so far this financial year. United Bank of India’s infusion nearly matches the 21.77 billion rupees it would need to satisfy capital requirements, ratings agency ICRA Ltd said.


Unease grows at BOJ

Unease has increased within the Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) policy board over the outlook for prices as cheaper oil and mobile phone charges threaten to drive inflation back toward zero and possibly back into negative territory. A summary of opinions from board members at last week’s meeting released yesterday shows a switch in mood from the guarded optimism over prices at the October policy meeting. The BOJ left policy unchanged at both meetings.


Growth forecast cut further

The government might have to cut its economic growth forecast for next year further, although the 1 percent expansion it now predicts is reasonable, the Parliamentary Budget Office said on Thursday. The cut to 1 percent, from 1.5 percent, was part of a deal the country reached last week with the European Commission over its expansionary budget for next year. The coalition of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the right-wing League also lowered its deficit target to 2.04 percent of GDP from 2.4 percent.


Consumer confidence falls

US consumer confidence slumped this month to the lowest since July as a gauge of labor market expectations fell by the most in 41 years. The confidence index decreased to 128.1 from 136.4, a report from the New York-based Conference Board said on Thursday. That missed every economist estimate in Bloomberg’s survey, which called for 133.5. A measure of consumer expectations fell to a two-year low, while the share of people expecting more jobs in the next six months decreased to 16.6 percent from 22.7 percent, the biggest drop since 1977.


Central bank maintains rates

The central bank on Thursday left its key overnight interest rates steady, keeping the deposit rate at 16.75 percent and the lending rate at 17.75 percent. Headline inflation slowed to 15.7 percent last month from 17.7 percent in October as fruit and vegetable prices declined, while core inflation slowed to 7.94 percent, its lowest since April 2016, from 8.86 percent in October. GDP grew by 5.3 percent in the fiscal year that ended in June.


UK agency investigates leak

The British National Crime Agency (NCA) is examining accusations that an employee leaked information to a suspect in exchange for money, thereby resulting in the undermining of a probe into a network of insider trading suspects in Europe, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. The NCA is investigating whether a government translator with access to wiretap recordings tipped off the target of an insider-trading investigation, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

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