Tue, Jun 25, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

GERMANY

Business confidence dives

A closely watched survey is showing that business confidence has fallen to a near five-year low as managers’ expectations for the coming six months have deteriorated. The Ifo institute yesterday said that its monthly confidence index slipped to 97.4 points this month from 97.9 last month, in line with market expectations. The third straight monthly fall takes the index to its lowest since November 2014 and was entirely due to managers’ waning views of future prospects. Their assessment of the current situation rose modestly from last month.

BANKING

Deposit protection planned

New Zealand is one of the few developed countries where people with bank savings have no recourse if their bank fails, but Minister of Finance Grant Robertson yesterday announced plans for a program aimed at individual account holders that would guarantee bank deposits of up to NZ$50,000 (US$33,000). The plan would fully protect about 90 percent of savers and cover about 40 percent of the total NZ$352 billion in bank deposits, he said. The program should be finalized into legislation next year, he added.

AVIATION

Lufthansa adjusts dividends

Deutsche Lufthansa AG has adjusted its dividend policy in a bid to soothe investor worries a week after issuing its second profit warning this year. The airline is to rebase payments to 20 percent to 40 percent of adjusted net income, which would provide flexibility to pay attractive dividends, a spokesman said yesterday. Lufthansa previously paid out 10 percent to 25 percent of earnings before interest and tax. The new policy would help achieve more continuity and would be adjusted for one-time gains and losses, Lufthansa said.

ELECTRONICS

Erajaya shares rise

Shares of PT Erajaya Swasembada, an Indonesian distributor of Apple Inc’s iPhones and Samsung Electronics Co’s smartphones, yesterday headed for the biggest gain in more than a year after it said it was close to a tie-up with electronic cigarette manufacturer Juul Labs Inc. Erajaya would announce details of the partnership soon, president director Budiarto Halim said yesterday. “I’m currently bound by a non-disclosure agreement,” he said. Juul has signed a distribution deal with one of Erajaya’s units and would begin to retail e-cigarettes in greater Jakarta area, Java and Bali from the end of this month, Citigroup Inc said.

SAUDI ARABIA

Residency plan announced

The kingdom has opened applications for a permanent residency program designed to attract foreign investment, priced at 800,000 riyals (US$213,000). A one-year renewable residency is to cost 100,000 riyals. The residencies would allow foreigners to buy property and do business without a local sponsor, switch jobs and exit the kingdom easily and sponsor visas for family members. Applicants must be at least 21 years old, prove financial solvency and have a clean criminal record.

RUSSIA

Crackdown on Georgian wine

The consumer watchdog agency yesterday said it is tightening checks on Georgian alcohol imports after seeing an increase in cases of sub-standard wine. The move comes after a speech by a Russian lawmaker in Georgia’s parliament sparked protests and led to President Vladimir Putin banning the nation’s airlines from flying to Georgia.

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