Tue, Jun 11, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



Economy posts growth

The economy grew slightly faster than initially thought in the first quarter of this year, due partly to better-than-expected corporate investment, official figures showed yesterday. The world’s third-biggest economy grew 0.6 percent quarter-on-quarter, up from the preliminary figure of 0.5 percent, the Cabinet office said. It was the second successive quarter of expansion for the economy after growth of 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter of last year and defied gloomy expectations by analysts.


Banking sector still weak

The banking sector remains relatively weak despite the bailouts of major lenders by the central bank, the World Bank said yesterday. The Washington-based World Bank said in a regular report that the country’s banking sector had a lower adequacy ratio and a higher ratio of non-performing loans than other emerging market countries. The central bank has shut hundreds of lenders in the past few years and rescued several major banks at a cost of tens of billions of dollars.


UTC, Raytheon to merge

Raytheon Co and United Technologies Corp (UTC) are merging in a deal that creates one of the world’s largest defense companies. The merger, announced on Sunday, would close in the first half of next year after United Technologies completes the previously planned separation of its Otis and Carrier businesses. The combined company, named Raytheon Technologies Corp, would be a powerhouse of defense research and technology, with total sales of about US$74 billion this year. That would top giants like Lockheed Martin Corp and Northrop Grumman Corp.


Hotel chain gets offer

Singapore’s second-largest property developer is offering to buy out shareholders of Millennium & Copthorne Hotels PLC in a deal that would value the company at US$2.84 billion. City Developments Ltd (城市發展) said in a statement on Friday that it has made a final offer for the London-traded hotel chain at 685 pence per share, representing a 37 percent premium to Thursday’s closing price of 500 pence. That is up from a previous offer of 620 pence per share.


Debt remains challenge

Minister of Economy and Finances Giovanni Tria said the government would be able to comply with European fiscal rules amid the threat of possible disciplinary measures over the size of its public debt. The country has begun talks with the European Commission, Tria said, as it works to show that this year’s budget deficit is to be less than expected. Tria said that this year’s budget deficit would be about 2.1 or 2.2 percent of GDP.


Tobacco, sugary drinks taxed

The government would impose a new tax on sugary drinks and tobacco products starting on Saturday, as the small Gulf oil producer seeks to boost state revenue strained by years of low oil prices. A 100 percent excise tax is to be introduced for tobacco products, energy drinks, alcohol and pork meat, while a 50 percent tax is to be applied on carbonated drinks, according to a statement from a Secretariat General for Taxation official published by Oman’s state news agency on Saturday.

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