World Business Quick Take


Tue, Jul 17, 2012 - Page 15


Ford recalls 8,270 Escapes

Ford is recalling about 8,270 of its 2013 model Escape SUVs due to a problem with carpet padding that can interfere with braking, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on Sunday. “Ford is recalling certain model year 2013 Escape vehicles … Due to mis-positioned carpet padding, the center console trim panel may be pushed outboard of the intended position, reducing clearance relative to the pedal package … increasing stopping distances and the risk of a crash,” it said. Ford plans to make needed repairs at no cost to owners of recalled cars, the administration said.


GSK raises Genome bid

GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) raised its hostile takeover offer for Human Genome Sciences Inc to about US$14 a share, Reuters reported, citing two people familiar with the situation. The proposed cash purchase is subject to approval of some last-minute details and may be announced before markets open in the US on Monday, the news agency reported on its Web site. Glaxo’s earlier US$13-a-share offer for Human Genome, which valued the Rockville, Maryland-based biotechnology company at US$2.6 billion, is set to expire at 5pm New York time on Friday. Buying Human Genome would give Glaxo full control over marketing Benlysta, a treatment for lupus. The two companies are also collaborating on two experimental medicines that are in late-stage testing: Albiglutide for diabetes and Darapladib for hardening of the arteries.


Inflation slows, but still high

The country’s inflation slowed to 7.25 percent last month from a year earlier, official data showed yesterday, but it remained above the central bank’s comfort level, making further rate cuts difficult. Last month’s reading was below the median forecast of 7.60 percent in a poll of 18 economists by Dow Jones Newswires and also lower than the reading for May of 7.55 percent. In the data released yesterday by the ministry of commerce and industry, the government raised the April inflation reading to 7.50 percent from the 7.23 percent reported earlier.


Property prices plummet

Home sales in the city state posted their biggest drop in two and a half years in the second quarter as prices rebounded to a record, a government report showed. Private residential property sales declined 17 percent to 5,572 units in the three months ended June 30 from the previous quarter, according to data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority yesterday.


Menzies cuts airport arm

Britain’s John Menzies PLC said its aviation services arm would shut cargo operations at four airports in the UK by next month and take a related charge of £3 million pounds (US$4.66 million). Menzies Aviation would exit its cargo operations at Glasgow, Birmingham, East Midlands and Manchester airports to return its UK cargo business to profitability, John Menzies said. The aviation services subsidiary would focus on its cargo business at London’s Heathrow airport and Aberdeen and Belfast. In March, John Menzies said its aviation business had overtaken its core newspapers and magazine distribution business in the UK in terms of profit and cash contribution.