Fri, Feb 22, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

MINING

China delays coal imports

Glencore PLC sees politics as being behind China’s move to delay customs clearances of Australian coal imports and is awaiting a resolution to the “diplomatic dispute,” according to the head of the mining giant. “We’re waiting and monitoring to see what big effect it has, what effect it’s going to have, when they are going to resolve this diplomatic dispute,” Glencore chief executive officer Ivan Glasenberg told analysts on Wednesday after the release of the company’s financial results. Customs clearance of the coal shipments has been delayed by as long as 40 days, raising speculation that China is targeting Australia at a time of strained relations between the two nations. Australia is seeking clarification from the Chinese government on the delays.

AUTOMAKERS

S&P lowers Nissan rating

Nissan Motor Co had its debt rating cut by S&P Global Ratings, which said the Japanese automaker’s earnings would continue to experience downward pressure for as long as two years. The company’s rating was lowered to “A-” from “A”, S&P said in a statement yesterday. The outlook on the long-term rating is stable, S&P said. Nissan cut its full-year earnings forecast this month after third-quarter profit missed analysts’ estimates, adding to the headwinds for the automaker grappling with the aftermath of the shock arrest of iconic former chairman Carlos Ghosn.

UNITED KINGDOM

Tax online firms more: report

Internet giants, such as Amazon.com Inc, Asos PLC and Boohoo Group PLC, should pay higher taxes to help save ailing shopping districts that are losing revenue to e-commerce, a government report that was released yesterday said. An online sales tax, higher value-added tax and “green” taxes on shipping and packaging should all be considered to help soften the blow to physical stores as consumers shift to Internet shopping, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee report said. Amazon’s tax rates amount to about 0.7 percent of its UK revenue, while most street-based retailers pay double to eight times that.

EUROZONE

Private sector grows slightly

The eurozone’s private sector this month barely expanded amid a slump in manufacturing that is feeding anxiety over the economic outlook. While IHS Markit’s composite purchasing managers’ index rose to 51.4, indicating a slight pickup in the pace of expansion, growth was modest and driven exclusively by services. The 19-nation economy would struggle to expand by more than 0.1 percent in the first quarter, the report said. New orders fell for a second month and inflation pressures eased.

GERMANY

Saudi curbs could hit income

BAE Systems PLC cautioned that the nation’s restrictions on granting export licenses to Saudi Arabia after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi could weigh on earnings this year. The government has halted the granting of export licenses, which has triggered diplomatic efforts by the UK to resolve the matter. The country is a partner with Britain on programs including the Eurofighter warplane, for which Saudi Arabia is the biggest export customer. Little more was revealed about the status of that new Saudi Arabian order, with BAE saying it “continues to progress towards” an agreement following an outline deal last year.

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