S Korea cuts GDP forecasts
The South Korean government yesterday slashed the nation’s growth outlook for this year and next year, citing the eurozone debt crisis and US fiscal woes that continue to dampen global demand. In a biannual economic outlook, the finance ministry revised its earlier estimate of 4 percent growth next year to 3 percent, and this year’s estimate from 3.3 percent to 2.1 percent. The ministry predicted exports of cars, mobile gadgets and other products and services would increase 4.3 percent next year after shrinking 1.3 percent this year. Consumer prices are expected to rise 2.7 percent next year, faster than this year’s 2.2 percent, it said.
Aso blames BOJ for deflation
Japan’s new finance chief hit out at the country’s under-pressure central bank, reports said yesterday, saying it was “slow” in tackling deflation that has plagued the economy for years. The remarks by Minister of Finance Taro Aso, a former prime minister, were the latest sharp comments that the Liberal Democratic Party, which won national elections this month, has thrown at the Bank of Japan (BOJ) over its handling of policy matters. Aso also echoed his new boss, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in calling for aggressive measures to boost the limp economy.
Bankia deep in red ink
Spain revealed on Wednesday an ocean of red ink in its bailed-out Bankia group at the heart of the nation’s banking crisis. Bankia had a negative value of 4.148 billion euros (US$5.5 billion) and its parent group, BFA, 10.444 billion euros, the state-backed Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring said in a statement. The fund said it had reached a final agreement on the recapitalization of four banks that were rescued and nationalized: BFA-Bankia, NCG Banco, Catalunya Banc and Banco de Valencia. The banks will receive 36.968 billion euros “in the next days,” the fund said.
PM down on growth target
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday played down hopes for the once-booming economy’s performance, saying achieving annual 8 percent growth to 2017 would be an “ambitious” achievement. Singh’s muted expectations come after the government earlier this month cut its growth forecast to just under 6 percent for this fiscal year — putting Asia’s third-largest economy on track for its worst annual showing in a decade. “The country faces many challenges to achieve sustainable growth,” Singh told state chief ministers meeting in New Delhi to review the government’s 2012 to 2017 economic plan.
Marvell infringed patents
A jury on Wednesday hit Marvell Technology Group with a billion-dollar verdict, ruling that the US chipmaker “willfully” infringed on patents held by Carnegie Mellon University. Northern California-based Marvell violated the university’s patents on technology that increase the accuracy of reading data from high-speed magnetic disks, according to a verdict delivered in federal court in the state of Pennsylvania, where the university is based. Jurors rejected the argument by Marvell that the university’s patents were not valid and ordered Marvel to pay US$1.1 billion in damages, according to the K&L Gates legal team that represented the university at trial. The award could be tripled based on a finding by jurors that the patent infringement by Marvell and subsidiary Marvell Semiconductor was “willful.”