Fri, Oct 18, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



Lotte chair wins final appeal

The South Korean Supreme Court yesterday upheld a suspended jail term for Lotte Group chairman Shin Dong-bin over a sprawling corruption scandal that brought down former president Park Geun-hye. Shin was jailed for 30 months in February last year for providing 7 billion won (US$6.2 million) to a foundation controlled by Park’s secret confidante in return for government favors. However, he was released in October last year after an appeals court reduced his sentence to a suspended jail term, which the Supreme Court upheld.


GM, union reach accord

General Motors Co (GM) and the United Auto Workers on Wednesday reached a tentative agreement on a new contract, clearing the way for a union vote yesterday on whether to continue a more than monthlong strike. The accord includes US$9 billion in investment in US plants, signing bonuses exceeding the US$8,000 workers got four years ago, 3 percent pay raises in some years of the contract and 4 percent lump-sum payments in the others, people familiar with the matter said.


IBM Q3 revenue disappoints

International Business Machines Corp (IBM) on Wednesday reported third-quarter revenue that missed analysts’ estimates, with the long-awaited revenue infusion from Red Hat failing to compensate for continued declines in other parts of its business. Total revenue was US$18 billion in the three months that ended on Sept. 30, down 3.9 percent from a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Analysts had forecast US$18.2 billion. It marked the fifth consecutive quarter of shrinking sales at IBM.


US, OECD said near pact

Washington is inching toward an agreement with the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on taxing global tech giants, US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday. A resolution would ease long-standing transatlantic friction over imposing taxes on tech multinationals, the largest of which are US-based, but operate worldwide. “We don’t yet have an agreement, but we are getting closer in that direction,” Mnuchin told reporters.


Inequality hits highest

The nation’s income inequality reached its highest level last year, data released on Wednesday by the Institute of Geography and Statistics showed. The so-called Gini coefficient used to measure inequality is at a level just above that registered in 2012, it said. Last year, the richest 10 percent of Brazilians accounted for 43.1 percent of national income, up from 41.4 percent in 2015, the institute said. The poorest 30 percent of earners saw their incomes fall from 2017, it said.


IMF warns on African debt

Rising debt levels in Africa pose an increasing risk to the region’s economies, especially with increasing borrowing from China, the IMF said on Wednesday. IMF analysis shows “more than a dozen countries that are either in distress or at high risk of debt distress,” said Evan Papageorgiou, of the IMF’s Monetary and Capital Markets Department. “In a lot of low-income countries, particularly a lot of Sub-Saharan African countries, the issue of debt is becoming more and more pressing,” he said.

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