Thu, May 30, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

AUTOMAKERS

Nissan not opposed to merger

Nissan Motor Co yesterday told Renault SA that it was not opposed to its partner’s potential US$35 billion merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) NV, the Nikkei Shimbun said, citing an unnamed Nissan source. The leaders of Nissan, Renault and junior partner Mitsubishi Motors Corp gathered at Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama for a scheduled meeting that was overshadowed by FCA’s proposal on Monday for a merger-of-equals with Renault. The plan raises difficult questions about how Nissan would fit into a radically changed alliance.

SWEDEN

GDP beats estimates

The economy expanded three times faster than estimated at the start of the year, helped by a rise in exports even as households cut back on spending and investments declined. GDP grew 0.6 percent in the first quarter and 2.1 percent from a year earlier, Statistics Sweden said yesterday. Economists had predicted an expansion of 0.2 percent and 1.7 percent respectively. The US$500 billion economy was rescued by exports, although most other key components dropped, including consumer spending and investments.

VENEZUELA

Inflation hits 130,060%

The central bank on Tuesday published key economic data for the first time since 2015, reporting figures on GDP, external accounts and inflation. Inflation spiraled out of control to 130,060 percent last year and to 862.6 percent in 2017, while the economy contracted 22.5 percent during the third quarter of last year from same period in 2017, the bank said in a report. In January, monthly inflation was 196.6 percent, the fastest pace in the past few years, before easing to 114.4 percent in February, 34.8 percent in March and 33.8 percent last month, the data showed.

GERMANY

Jobless rate increases

The unemployment rate unexpectedly rose for the first time in almost two years as an economic slowdown finally started to take a toll on the labor market. The number of people out of work unexpectedly climbed by 60,000 this month, compared with economists’ forecasts for a decline of 8,000. The jobless rate also rose, to 5 percent from a record low of 4.9 percent. The Federal Labor Agency said about two-thirds of the increase was due to reclassification of some people in the statistics.

MEDIA

Mediaset buys German stake

Italian television group Mediaset SpA yesterday said it has acquired 9.6 percent of German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media as it seeks European expansion to counter the rise of global streaming giants such as Netflix Inc. Mediaset, which is owned by the family of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, is to become the largest shareholder in the German channel, which also has a presence in Austria and Switzerland.

REAL ESTATE

London home prices reduced

London homebuyers are getting the biggest discounts in at least six years, the property-search Web site Zoopla said in a report yesterday. The average reduction on a home in 13 inner London boroughs jumped to 7.6 percent in the first quarter of the year, up from 7 percent a year earlier, the report said. The residential real estate market in the UK capital has been stung in the past few years by the introduction of new taxes and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

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