Fri, Oct 11, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

TRADE

US to ease limits on Huawei

The US will soon issue licenses allowing some US firms to supply non-sensitive goods to China’s Huawei Technologies Co (華為), the New York Times said on Wednesday, as high-level officials from the two countries yesterday met to resume trade talks. The licensing decisions would give much needed clarity to US companies, which have been looking for guidance since US President Donald Trump promised in late June to provide some relief to firms that did business with Huawei.

TIRES

Michelin to shutter factory

Tire maker Michelin yesterday said it would close a French factory with 619 employees next year, as competition from cheaper Asian manufacturers knocks its profit margin. The company promised a “support plan” for affected employees, and said it would offer every one a chance to remain in the company in France. It would also seek out “a major public-private project” in a bid to relaunch the failing site. Michelin said 74 people who work at a factory in nearby Maine-et-Loiret, manufacturing rubber for the site in La Roche-sur-Yon, would also be affected. CEO Florent Menegaux blamed “difficulties in the market for high-end heavy-duty tires both in Europe and abroad,” coupled with “increased competition.”

RETAIL

Japan cutting 7-Elevens

Seven & i Holdings Co, the largest convenience store operator in Japan, yesterday said it would close 1,000 unprofitable 7-Elevens and eliminate 3,000 jobs from its other units, as the Japanese retailer continues its structural reform and cuts back on 24-hour operations. The company said it would implement new policies for its franchisees, such as reducing monthly fees. Its 7-Eleven Japan business would take a ¥10 billion (US$93 million) charge due to the new incentives for the franchisees, CEO Ryuichi Isaka said in Tokyo while announcing the company’s second-quarter results.

GREECE

EU approves bad loan plan

The European Commission yesterday approved the government’s plan to reduce bad loans by up to 30 billion euros (US$33.04 billion) at the nation’s banks. Bankers close to the process last month said that they expected a green light from the EU executive to put in place the asset protection scheme that would help its banks offload the loans. The plan, known as Hercules Asset Protection Scheme, aims to bring down the amount of bad loans that are weighing on Greek banks, without distorting the market through government subsidies.

CHINA

Ma tops rich list again: poll

The nation’s richest businesspeople got richer this year, despite a tariff war with the US and an economic slowdown, a survey showed yesterday. The average net worth of the richest 1,800 people rose 10 percent from last year to US$1.4 billion, the Hurun Report said. Jack Ma (馬雲), who retired last month as chairman of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) , was No. 1 for a second year, with a net worth of US$39 billion. Ma Huateng (馬化騰), chairman of games and social media firm Tencent Holdings (騰訊), was second at US$37 billion, up 8 percent. The number of businesspeople on the list from the tech, pharma and food industries rose, while those from manufacturing declined. “Wealth is concentrating into the hands of those who are able to adapt to the digital economy,” Rupert Hoogewerf, the company’s founder and chief researcher, said in a statement.

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