Tue, Feb 05, 2019 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

BEVERAGES

InBev picks underwriters

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV has selected JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley for a possible initial public offering of its Asian operations in what could be one of the region’s biggest listings this year, people with knowledge of the matter said. The world’s largest brewer is weighing Hong Kong as a listing venue, though it has not made a final decision, the people said. The Belgium-based company is considering adding more arrangers to the deal later, one of the people said. An IPO of AB InBev’s Asia business could raise more than US$5 billion, people familiar with the matter said last month.

GERMANY

Budget shortfall looms

Germany faces a 25 billion euro (US$29 billion) budget shortfall by 2023, unless it tightens spending, as tax revenues are set to fall and public sector wages are on the rise, Bild newspaper reported, citing an internal government document. The prospect of budget deficits would represent a dramatic deterioration in the finances of Europe’s biggest economy, which reported a 11.2 billion euro budget surplus last year. The warning came in a report prepared by Finance Minister Olaf Scholz to his ministerial colleagues as they prepare for a regular budget planning discussion.

SERVICES

Foreign sales buoy China

China’s sprawling services sector maintained a solid pace of expansion last month even though growth moderated slightly, a private survey showed on Sunday. The Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell slightly to 53.6 last month from 53.9 in December last year, but was well above the 50 mark separating growth from contraction. Overseas sales continued to support the sector, with new export business rising at the fastest clip in more than a year, thanks to efforts among Chinese services firms to attract foreign clients. Overall new orders also ticked higher, to 52.6 from 52.3 in December.

AUSTRALIA

Building approvals slump

Australian building approvals suffered the biggest annual back-to-back drop in almost a decade as a housing slump deepens. Building permits fell 22.5 percent in December last year from a year earlier after plunging 33.5 percent in November, Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed yesterday. That is the worst two-month result since January-February 2009, during the depths of the global financial crisis. A separate private report from Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd showed job advertisements slid 3.7 percent last month from a year earlier, the first annual decline since April 2015.

BREXIT

Irish farmers to get aid

The European Commission has agreed to compensate Irish farmers for a collapse in beef and dairy prices in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the Irish edition of the Sunday Times newspaper said, quoting Irish government and EU sources. Farmers would be in line for hundreds of millions of euros in emergency aid to offset a market collapse and the loss of British customers, the newspaper reported. Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said last month Dublin would seek that amount for its farming and fishing industry. The details of the scheme were finalized between Creed and the commission’s agriculture chief Phil Hogan, the report said.

INTERNET

Tonga sabotage considered

A director at Tonga’s undersea Internet cable operator said he cannot rule out sabotage as the reason the cable broke and plunged the Pacific nation into virtual darkness for almost two weeks. Repair crews found two breaks along the optic fiber cable that connects Tonga with the rest of the world, Tonga Cable Ltd director Piveni Piukala said yesterday. Several kilometers away, they found two more breaks and rope entangled on the separate domestic cable that connects the main island with some of Tonga’s outer islands.

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