Wed, Aug 07, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

JAPAN

Activity index plummets

A key measure of the economy fell to a level not seen since the wake of the financial crisis, adding to concerns about the economy ahead of an October sales-tax hike. The leading coincident index dropped to 93.3 in June, the lowest since February 2010, the Cabinet Office said yesterday. The index is one of the nation’s broadest indicators of current economic activity, drawing on nine measures, including industrial output and shipments of consumer durable goods. Separate data showed that household spending last month rose for a seventh month compared with a year earlier, but fell 2.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from June, its third decline in six months.

GERMANY

Few contracts prop orders

Industrial orders rebounded strongly in June, official data showed yesterday, although the relief for the troubled manufacturing sector came mainly from a few large contracts. Producer firms reported 2.5 percent more orders month-on-month, after a 2 percent fall in May, the Federal Statistics Office said in figures adjusted for seasonal and calendar effects. The overall figure remained 3.6 percent lower than in June last year, when the unexpectedly strong growth seen through the previous year was finally running out of steam.

BANKING

Softbank plans bond sale

Softbank Group Corp has tapped Nomura Holdings Inc as lead manager for a domestic bond sale to raise as much as ¥400 billion (US$3.76 billion) in what could be one of the biggest in the local corporate bond market, people familiar with the matter said. The conglomerate is preparing to sell ¥300 billion to ¥400 billion of seven-year notes to individuals, and might set the bond’s marketing range as early as this month for issuance next month, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter has not yet been made public. Softbank has a ¥400 billion bond due on Sept. 12. The main purpose of the planned bond sale is for refinancing, and Softbank has already hired several underwriters for the deal. It is also considering a bond offering to institutional investors that might include seven-year and 10-year notes, according to people familiar with the matter.

TRANSPORTATION

Cairo monorail deal signed

Bombardier Inc on Monday announced that it has signed a multibillion-dollar agreement to build two automated monorail lines in notoriously congested Cairo. The US$4.5 billion agreement, which was signed with the National Authority for Tunnels, is subject to “final signatures of supplementary documents,” Bombardier and its local partners Orascom Construction and Arab Contractors said in a joint statement. The three companies would be responsible for the construction, development and maintenance of the monorail lines for 30 years.

AVIATION

Bottleneck hurts Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC’s cash outflow ballooned in the first half as a bottleneck in plane deliveries at Airbus SE and Boeing Co reduced engine revenue, and stockpiling for a no-deal Brexit led to a buildup of parts. Europe’s biggest jet engine maker posted negative underlying free cash flow of £429 million (US$523 million), almost six times the level of a year earlier. Rolls has about 50 turbines awaiting delivery, compared with the usual 15 or so. CEO Warren East said it should reach its full-year cash goal as the inventory buildup unwinds.

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