Tue, Sep 03, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

TURKEY

Economy battling to recover

The economy slowed in the second quarter, but fared better than forecast, as the country’s recovery struggled to take hold at a time of political uncertainty. GDP expanded a seasonally adjusted 1.2 percent from the previous three months, according to data released yesterday, down from a revised 1.6 percent in the first quarter. From a year earlier, GDP shrank 1.5 percent. The slowdown in quarterly growth was driven by a slump in investments, which shrank 7.4 percent from the previous three-month period, a breakdown of GDP data by the Turkish Statistical Institute showed.

SOUTH KOREA

Export slump continues

Exports extended their slump last month as an escalating feud with Japan adds to uncertainties for the economy already elevated amid the US-China trade dispute. Exports fell 13.6 percent from a year earlier, a ninth consecutive month of contraction, data from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy showed on Sunday. Imports fell 4.2 percent, and the trade surplus was US$1.7 billion, the ministry said. Shipments to China dropped 21.3 percent, a reflection of slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy and South Korea’s biggest export destination. Semiconductor exports fell 30.7 percent by value, while volume was up 4.5 percent.

BANKING

Baring Vostok faces seizure

A court in Russia’s Far East ordered the seizure of a stake in Vostochny Bank held by private equity group Baring Vostok Capital Partners at Vostochny Bank’s request, court documents published yesterday showed. Baring Vostok has been in the spotlight since the arrest earlier this year of several of its executives, including US investor Michael Calvey, on embezzlement charges. They deny wrongdoing and say the case is being used against them in a corporate dispute over control of the bank. Vostochny Bank had requested the seizure of more than 334 billion shares held by a firm controlled by Baring Vostok.

FRANCE

Lottery to be privatized

The country aims to privatize its national lottery company, Francaise des Jeux (FDJ), in November, Minister of Finance Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday. The French state that controls 72 percent of FDJ, has said it plans to retain at least 20 percent of Europe’s second-biggest lottery operator following the sell-off, promised for this year. Le Maire said the privatization would most likely occur “during the month of November” barring any sharp stock-market downturn. He was speaking in an interview with CNEWS televsion, Europe 1 radio and daily Les Echos.

AVIATION

Norwegian Air asks for help

Budget airline Norwegian Air is asking bondholders to extend the maturity of its debt by up to two years, and would in return pledge valuable take-off and landing slots at London Gatwick Airport as security, it said yesterday. While the indebted carrier’s operational performance has improved since mid-July, the company’s working capital has decreased this year amid ongoing engine problems and the grounding of its fleet of Boeing MAX aircraft, it said. Norwegian’s bonds, which mature in December and August next year with a combined outstanding amount of US$380 million, would be extended to November 2021 and February 2022 if bondholders accept the revised terms.

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