Headed for slowdown
The economy, Europe’s biggest, will see a sharp slowdown in growth at the end of the year, the finance ministry wrote in its monthly report published yesterday. The nation has so far held up to Europe’s long-running sovereign debt crisis much better than its eurozone neighbors. While many eurozone countries slipped into recession, Berlin notched up growth of 0.5 percent in the first quarter and 0.3 percent in the second quarter.
Last week, the government fractionally upgraded its growth forecast for the current year to 0.8 percent, but slashed its prognosis for next year to just 1 percent.
FDI hits record high
Indonesia’s foreign direct investment (FDI) hit a record high in the third quarter, a signal the biggest economy in Southeast Asia remains strong despite global financial woes, a top investment official said yesterday. The third quarter’s FDI rose 22 percent to US$5.9 billion, or 56.6 trillion rupiah, compared with the same period last year, the Investment Coordinating Board said on its Web site. The top contributors come from the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, mining and telecoms. Total investment realization since the beginning of this year is 229.9 trillion rupiah, consisting of domestic investment of 65.7 trillion rupiah and foreign direct investment realization of 164.2 trillion rupiah.
GrainCorp mulling ADM bid
Australian agribusiness GrainCorp yesterday said it had received a A$2.68 billion (US$2.76 billion) all-cash takeover offer from US food giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM). Graincorp said its board was considering the indicative, non-binding bid from the leading agricultural commodities trader, which is prepared to pay A$11.75 for each Graincorp share. GrainCorp services about 30,000 grain producers in the eastern states of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria and South Australia and has one of the largest grain storage, handling and logistics networks in the nation.
Philips earnings double
Royal Philips Electronics NV, the maker of electric shavers, light bulbs and medical imaging equipment, saw earnings more than double in the third quarter, thanks to modest growth at all its business lines as well as the disposal of its loss-making television business. Net profit rose to 169 million euros (US$220 million) from 74 million euros in the same period a year ago, when Philips booked a 54 million euros loss on televisions. Sales rose 3.4 percent to 6.13 billion euros. Despite the upbeat trading performance, Philips CEO Frans van Houten said the company is facing stiff “headwinds” with its biggest market, Europe, in decline, China growing more slowly and with the US market showing “more and more uncertainty related to elections and the so-called ‘fiscal cliff.’”
Electrolux Q3 profits up 19%
Home appliance maker Electrolux says its profits increased by 19 percent in third quarter, with sales growing in all markets expect Europe. The Swedish company yesterday said net profit rose to 983 million kronor (US$150 million), from 826 million kronor in the same quarter last year. Total sales climbed 6 percent to 27.2 billion kronor. Sales increased in North America, Latin America and Asia, but slumped in Western Europe. CEO Keith McLoughlin attributed the “soft performance” in Europe to weak consumer confidence affecting demand in southern Europe, Benelux and Nordic countries.