India inflation eases
Inflation in India eased to its lowest level since 2009 last month, data showed yesterday, fanning hopes that the central bank would cut interest rates further to help spur a sharply slowing economy. The wholesale price index, India’s most closely watched cost-of-living benchmark, rose 4.89 percent last month from a year earlier, sharply lower than the previous month’s rise of 5.96 percent. It follows data on Monday that showed consumer price inflation slipped below the psychologically important 10 percent level to 9.39 percent last month.
VW to build Changsha plant
German auto giant Volkswagen (VW) will build a plant in central China, a spokesman said yesterday, as it battles US rival General Motors (GM) in the world’s biggest car market. The plant in the city of Changsha will start production in early 2016 with an annual output capacity of 300,000 vehicles, a Beijing-based spokesman for VW said. The German firm delivered 2.81 million vehicles in China last year, while GM sold 2.84 million vehicles in the country, making them the top two foreign automakers in China.
Tata writes down US$1.6bn
India’s Tata Steel, one of the world’s biggest steelmakers, on Monday announced a US$1.6 billion asset writedown, blaming “weak economic and market conditions” in Europe that it forecast would continue “over the near and medium-term.” Europe accounts for about two-thirds of sales and production for the steelmaker. Tata said European steel demand fell nearly 8 percent last year.
STX receives credit help
Creditors yesterday agreed on an emergency cash injection of US$271 million for the holding company of South Korea’s troubled STX shipbuilding group to avert bankruptcy, a leading creditor bank said. The state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB) said STX Corp would receive a total of 300 billion won (US$271 million) from its five main creditors. The group, which has 11 subsidiaries, has been reeling under mounting debt. More than 1 trillion won in corporate debt matures this year, including 500 billion won this month alone.
Airbus lifts EADS profits
European aerospace firm EADS said strong deliveries by airplane maker Airbus helped drive higher earnings in the first quarter. Airbus delivered 144 aircraft in the first quarter, up from 131 in the same period last year. EADS reaffirmed its forecast of lifting commercial aircraft deliveries this year to between 600 and 610, on strong demand from Middle Eastern and Asian carriers. The company reported first-quarter net profit of 241 million euros (US$314 million), nearly double the 126 million euros it made a year earlier.
Icahn runs for Dell board
Carl Icahn is nominating himself and 11 other candidates for spots on the Dell Inc board of directors. The billionaire investor and Southeastern Asset Management own a combined 13 percent of the computer maker’s shares. They want to keep Dell public and oppose a US$24.4 billion offer from an investment group led by company founder and chairman Michael Dell. Icahn and Southeastern say they would let shareholders keep their stake in the slumping PC maker so they could benefit from any Dell rebound.