Fri, May 24, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

EUROZONE

Slow demand hits output

Private-sector output remained subdued this month as demand stayed stagnant and companies scaled back employment and expansion plans. The purchasing managers’ index inched up to 51.6 from 51.5 last month, IHS Markit said yesterday. The bloc is headed for “lackluster” growth of about 0.2 percent in the second quarter, it added. The eurozone — Germany in particular — has struggled to emerge from a manufacturing shock since the second half of last year amid global trade tensions that threaten exports.

INDIA

Stocks hit record highs

Shares yesterday jumped to record highs as early results in the world’s biggest election showed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on course for a second term. Traders and business leaders welcomed trends in the vote count showing that Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party was set to win a majority. The Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensex rose more than 2 percent to peak at 40,124.50, while the Nifty also rose more than 2 percent to 12,041.

GERMANY

Consumers lift economy

Consumers led Europe’s largest economy out of stagnation at the start of the year, as the biggest spending increase in almost eight years made up for a manufacturing slump and troubles plaguing automakers. Household spending climbed 1.2 percent in the first quarter, the most since 2011, government data showed. Construction and capital investment gained, while net trade contributed 0.2 percentage points as exports outpaced imports. The economy grew 0.4 percent in the period.

UNITED STATES

Interest rate cut ‘not likely’

Persistent low inflation is one of “many risks” to the economic outlook, but that does not mean an interest rate cut is likely any time soon, New York Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams said on Wednesday. He said that he would support a rate cut “down the road” if appropriate to get inflation back to target, but “I don’t think we’re at that point or will be in the very near future.”

COSMETICS

Natura to buy Avon

Brazil’s Natura Cosmeticos SA agreed to buy rival Avon Products Inc in an all-stock deal valued at about US$2 billion, positioning it as a growing force in the booming industry. Controlling shareholders of Natura, which in 2017 bought the Body Shop retail chain, are to form a new publicly traded holding company that would offer 0.3 shares for every share of London-based Avon, a statement said. Including debt, the transaction is valued at US$3.7 billion, the companies said.

ENERGY

Pakistan to get Saudi oil

Pakistani official Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said that Saudi Arabian oil would start flowing to Islamabad in July, with payments deferred for three years. The buy-now-pay-later deal with the kingdom, reached in October last year, would enable the cash-strapped nation to overcome a balance of payment crisis, said Shaikh, adviser to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on finance and economic affairs. Shaikh on Wednesday night took to Twitter, thanking Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for “activating the deferred payment for petroleum products” of US$275 million per month. The value amounts to US$3.2 billion per year. The crown prince visited Pakistan in February.

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