France retains ‘AAA’: Fitch
Fitch Ratings yesterday said it was keeping France’s top “AAA” credit rating, the only one of the three major ratings agencies to do so, but added that its outlook remained negative. “The affirmation of France’s ‘AAA’ status is underpinned by its wealthy and diversified economy, stable political, civil and social institutions and its exceptional financing flexibility reflecting its status as a large benchmark eurozone sovereign issuer,” it said in a statement. Nevertheless, Fitch’s outlook remained negative, meaning that a future downgrade is possible, it said.
India WPI eases to 7.24%
India’s inflation unexpectedly eased last month, a moderation that may spur the central bank to hold off interest rate cuts next week as price gains remain above its comfort level. The wholesale-price index (WPI) rose 7.24 percent from a year earlier, after climbing 7.45 percent in October, the commerce ministry said yesterday. The Reserve Bank of India will review interest rates at its final meeting on Tuesday.
Thailand raises forecasts
Thailand’s central bank raised its economic growth forecasts for this year and next as domestic consumption and investment support expansion. GDP may increase 5.8 percent this year, compared with an earlier prediction of 5.7 percent, Bank of Thailand Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said at a seminar in Bangkok late on Thursday. The economy may expand 4.7 percent next year, higher than the previous 4.6 percent projection, he said.
UBS may face US$1bn fine
Swiss bank UBS faces a fine of about US$1 billion next week to settle charges of rigging the Libor interest rate benchmark, a person familiar with the situation said on Thursday. Such a penalty would be more than double the US$450 million fine levied on British bank Barclays in June by US and British regulators and would be the third massive US fine to hit big European banks this week. “The global settlement is about US$1 billion,” the source said. “It’s expected early next week — on Monday or Tuesday.” UBS declined to comment. British and US regulatory authorities also declined to comment.
Cancer linked to Samsung
A South Korean government agency says working at a Samsung Electronics factory caused the breast cancer of a worker who died earlier this year. Korea Workers’ Compensation and Welfare Service yesterday said there was a considerable causal relationship between the woman’s cancer and her five years of work at a Samsung semiconductor plant in South Korea. The agency under the labor ministry said she was exposed to organic solvents and radiation at Samsung. The woman worked for Samsung from 1995 to 2000. She died in March, aged 36, three years after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
Adobe beats forecasts
Adobe Systems Inc reported fiscal fourth-quarter sales and profit that topped analysts’ estimates as customers embraced its flagship Creative Suite software. Profit excluding some items for the period, which ended in November, was US$0.61 a share on sales of US$1.15 billion, the San Jose, California-based company said on Thursday. Analysts on average had projected profit of US$0.56 a share on revenue of US$1.1 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.