Wed, Jul 17, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

MACROECONOMICS

National debt levels rising

Global debt levels jumped in the first quarter of this year, outpacing the world economy and closing in on last year’s record, the Institute of International Finance said. Debt rose by US$3 trillion in the period to US$246.5 trillion, almost 320 percent of global economic output, the institute said in a report published yesterday. That is the second-highest dollar number on record after the first three months of last year, though debt was higher in 2016 and 2017 as a share of world GDP. New borrowing by the US government and by global non-financial business led the increase.

AVIATION

Ryanair cuts forecast

Europe’s largest budget airline, Ryanair Holdings PLC, has cut its forecast for passenger numbers next summer, blaming possible further delays in deliveries of Boeing Co 737 MAX planes. The Irish company on Monday said the move would also impact jobs, as it would close or make cuts at the some of its bases for this winter and next summer’s schedules. The airline now expects to carry 3 percent more passengers next summer, down from its previous forecast of 7 percent. That reduces its traffic estimate for the year to March 2021 to about 157 million from 162 million. Ryanair said it would start discussions with airports to determine which of its underperforming or loss-making bases would be cut or closed from November.

MANUFACTURING

IKEA to close US factory

IKEA said it would close its only US factory at the end of the year, cutting 300 jobs, as it would be more cost-effective to make the products in Europe and import them. It said raw material costs were too high compared to plants in Europe, meaning prices at the plant in Danville, Virginia, were “significantly higher.” The factory, which opened in 2008 to produce wood shelves and storage units for the US and Canadian markets, is to close in December.

FASHION

Burberry Q1 sales up 4%

British luxury brand Burberry Group PLC yesterday reported a pick-up in first-quarter sales after it began shifting more new designs by creative chief Riccardo Tisci into its stores as part of a turnaround plan. New products accounted for around half the wares on offer in its shops by the end of last month, it said. This helped lift same store sales by 4 percent — following growth of 1 percent in the previous three months and topping market expectations of about 2 percent.

TECHNOLOGY

Symantec-Broadcom deal off

Symantec Corp and Broadcom Inc have halted their discussions for a proposed merger as they could not agree on a price, according to people familiar with the matter. Discussions hit an impasse over the weekend after Broadcom sought to reduce its offer by more than US$1.50 per share after determining in due diligence that it was no longer willing to meet their agreed-upon price of US$28.25, the people said. The talks could be resumed if both parties are able to compromise on price or if Symantec comes under sufficient pressure to re-engage, the people said.

TELECOMS

France starts 5G process

France’s telecoms regulator Arcep on Monday officially launched the process to allocate to operators frequencies for next-generation 5G mobile telephone networks. Arcep said it would offer the initial batch of frequencies at a fixed price and then hold an auction for the rest.

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