Wed, Sep 04, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

AUSTRALIA

Central bank holds rates

The central bank yesterday kept its interest rates at historic lows, despite weaker-than-expected growth and global trade fears. Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe said the cash rate would remain unchanged at 1.00 percent, but the board would “ease monetary policy further if needed.” The bank had already cut rates by a quarter-point in June and again in July owing to concerns about the slowing economy. “It is reasonable to expect that an extended period of low interest rates will be required,” Lowe said.

SOUTH KOREA

Inflation falls to zero

Inflation fell to zero last month, the lowest level on record, while separate data showed that the economy grew slightly slower than an initial estimate during the second quarter. Consumer prices rose 0 percent from a year earlier and increased 0.2 percent from the previous month, while core inflation rose 0.9 percent from a year earlier, data from the statistics office showed yesterday. GDP grew 2 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier and rose 1 percent from the previous three months, the Bank of Korea said in a statement.

REAL ESTATE

Dubai projects to be curbed

Dubai’s ruler on Monday issued a directive that would curb the pace of new construction of real-estate projects as property prices fall and the sheer scale of developments threatens to outstrip demand. Emir Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum ordered the creation of a committee to study the needs of the real-estate market, evaluate all future projects and control the pace of projects, a statement by the Dubai Media Office said. The move comes amid a slowdown in the economy and a slump in real-estate prices.

TELECOMS

Vox Telecom buyout agreed

Vox Telecom SA shareholders, including FirstRand Ltd’s RMB, have agreed to buy out fellow investor Investec Ltd as part of a 2 billion rand (US$130 million) recapitalization for the South African fiber-network operator. Metier Private Equity and the Internet company’s management are also part of the transaction, Vox chief executive officer Jacques du Toit said by telephone. The group is to look to accelerate fiber-network rollout outside of South Africa’s main cities and to the nation’s small businesses.

ENERGY

Aramco chairman replaced

Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih has been removed from his position as chairman of Saudi Arabian Oil Co (Aramco), as the government prepares to sell shares in the state-owned oil company. Al-Falih said on Twitter that he would be replaced by Yasir al-Rumayyan, head of the sovereign wealth fund. The appointment of al-Rumayyan, already an Aramco board member and a key adviser to powerful Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, would separate the ministry from Aramco and avoid conflicts of interest, sources said.

STEELMAKERS

Tata to shut Welsh plant

India’s Tata Steel on Monday said that it would shut parts of its non-core businesses in the UK, a move that could cost about 400 jobs. The steelmaker proposed closing its loss-making Orb Electrical Steels site in South Wales, potentially affecting up to 380 jobs, as it was “unable to find a way forward” for the business, it said.

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