Sat, Oct 05, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

STOCK EXCHANGES

Bigger LSE bid sought

Some London Stock Exchange (LSE) investors have told Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) that any bid must contain more cash and be up to 20 percent higher to persuade them to engage, three shareholders and a banking source close to the deal said. The three investors, who own a combined 3 percent of LSE, said that HKEX has been lobbying them to back a potential US$39 billion cash and share offer for the London exchange after it made a surprise approach last month. LSE rejected HKEX’s initial approach, saying it faced regulatory hurdles and did not make strategic sense. The London exchange has already agreed a separate US$27 billion deal to buy data provider Refinitiv, in which professional information company and Reuters News parent Thomson Reuters hold a 45 percenet stake. HKEX now has until Wednesday next week to make a formal bid or walk away and its executives have been meeting LSE’s top shareholders to garner their support.

UNITED STATES

Services sector slows

Growth in the services sector slowed sharply last month to its lowest level in three years, suggesting that the government’s trade disputes and rising uncertainty are weakening the bulk of the economy. The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, on Thursday said that its non-manufacturing index slipped to 52.6 from 56.4 in August. Readings above 50 signal growth, but last month’s figures are the lowest since August 2016. Sales, new orders and employment all slowed last month, and companies that were surveyed by the institute expressed concerns about tariffs. Economists say that a drop in the employment measure of the institute’s index to 50.4, its lowest level since February 2014, is a particular cause for concern.

WORK TRAINING

Google joins Ivanka plan

Google chief executive officer Sundar Pichai on Thursday said that the Internet search giant is signing on to White House adviser Ivanka Trump’s pledge to train US workers. At an event in Dallas, Texas, Pichai said that Google planned to provide training for 250,000 workers over the next year and provide a US$3.5 million education grant. The Alphabet Inc unit would offer access to the Google IT Support Professional Certificate program, which is designed to help prepare individuals for entry-level tech jobs through an online course that can be completed within six months. Google has made a concerted effort on these retraining efforts, in part, to address criticism that its artificial intelligence projects risk automating jobs away.

VEHICLES

British registrations weaken

British new car registrations increased by a weak 1.3 percent last month, an important sales month, as demand picked up only slightly from a double-digit drop in the same month last year when stricter emissions rules hit the market. A total of 343,255 vehicles were sold last month, one of two months each year when licence plate series changes typically prompt high demand, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said. “We expected to see a more significant increase in September, similar to those seen in France, Germany, Italy and Spain,” group chief executive officer Mike Hawes said. “Instead, consumer confidence is being undermined by political and economic uncertainty.”

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