Wed, Mar 20, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

JAPAN

Non-urban land prices rise

Land prices outside the nation’s three main cities rose for the first time since the bursting of a property bubble in the early 1990s, adding to signs that a moderate economic recovery under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is gradually filtering to the regions. The average price of land outside Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya edged up 0.4 percent as of Jan. 1 from a year earlier, rising for the first time since 1992, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism data released yesterday showed. Falling unemployment, higher pay, low interest rates, and demand for hotels and retail space to cater to foreign tourists helped boost land prices, the ministry said. Overall, land prices rose 1.2 percent, increasing for a fourth straight year, the report said.

EXPATRIATES

Paris tied for priciest city

Paris has climbed to the top of the world’s priciest cities for expatriates, tied with Singapore and Hong Kong, according to a survey released yesterday that named Caracas as the cheapest. The French capital was the only eurozone city in the top 10, rising from second-most expensive last year and from seventh position two years ago. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) said it was the first time in the more than three decades that three cities were equally ranked top, after Singapore led the chart outright a year earlier. The top 10 list was dominated by Asian and European cities. Currency appreciation, inflation and devaluation, as well as political upheaval played a part in this year’s rankings, said the EIU, which surveyed 133 cities. The survey is aimed at helping companies calculate compensation packages and allowances for expatriate staff and business travelers.

TECHNOLOGY

Tencent cutting management

Tencent Holdings Ltd (騰訊) is putting about 10 percent of its managers on notice, as China’s largest gaming and social media company shakes up its workforce amid cooling growth and intensified competition, people familiar with the matter said. President Martin Lau (劉熾平) late last year told an internal meeting that its lowest-performing general managers would need to leave or be demoted, mainly because not much staff pruning has occurred in the past, the people said. Tencent follows a slew of Chinese tech companies from JD.com Inc (京東) to Didi Chuxing (滴滴出行) that are shaking up their ranks. Funding has shrunk alongside a cooling in the nation’s economy.

INVESTMENT

Goldman to buy ETF channel

Goldman Sachs Group Inc agreed to buy a distribution channel for its expanding roster of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The acquisition of Standard & Poor’s Investment Advisory Services LLC gives the New York City-based bank another vehicle to bring its funds to investors through the creation of model portfolios — ready-made packages of ETFs that its asset-management arm is to oversee. Goldman currently offers 18 ETFs, which together manage about US$11.6 billion, or less than 1 percent of the US$3.8 trillion market. The deal is expected to close in the first half of the year, the group said on Monday, without disclosing the terms of the agreement. Investment Advisory Services oversees about US$33 billion in assets. The portfolios offer issuers a way to get their products into more hands and stand out in a marketplace of more than 2,000 funds. The pitch to advisers is that they can focus more on the personal side of their jobs rather than on making asset allocation choices with ETFs or single securities.

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