Chinese sales growth slows
China’s passenger-vehicle sales rose at a slower pace last month as consumer confidence waned amid signs that momentum for economic growth is slowing. Wholesale deliveries of cars, multipurpose and sport utility vehicles increased 9 percent to 1.4 million units last month, the state-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said yesterday. That compares with growth of 13 percent in April and 13.3 percent in March. The slowing auto sales growth follows data showing average inventory levels at dealerships rose in April. Total sales of vehicles gained 9.8 percent to 1.76 million units last month, the association said.
Casino bill to be discussed
A group of Japanese lawmakers are close to hitting the jackpot in their bid to legalize casinos, betting the revenue bonanza could challenge Macau for the title of global gaming powerhouse. A bill is to be submitted to parliament later this year that, if passed, would pave the way for tie-ups with big name firms to build casinos across the country, senior lawmaker Takeshi Iwaya said. “Japan may be the only developed country without casinos. However, we are sprinting to the finish line,” Iwaya said.
Apple to start music service
Apple, aiming to overcome recent missteps and keep its cutting-edge reputation, is expected to unveil a streaming music service along with fresh hardware and software at an annual conference today. Speculation that Apple will provide developers with a look at an online radio service heightened on Friday with reports that the California company had inked a content deal with Sony Music. Universal and Warner music groups are already said to be on board with Apple, and enlisting the Japanese entertainment giant would mean that all three major music labels have been won over to the service.
Standards to be debated
New proposals to improve standards and culture within UK banks will be thrashed out by British lawmakers in important meetings this week that could shape the industry for years to come. The UK Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, led by Conservative lawmaker Andrew Tyrie, was set up by the government in July last year after Barclays was found to have manipulated global interest rate benchmarks, sparking public outrage. After months of compiling evidence from former and current bank executives, regulators, central bankers, academics, politicians and consumer rights activists, the committee is putting the finishing touches to a 600-page report and will debate it today and tomorrow, sources said.
China to boost ties
Argentina and China have agreed to expand their commercial ties by increasing soybeans and corn exports to the Asian country, Buenos Aires said on Saturday. “China approved three transgenic soybean and corn” varieties, Argentine Minister of Agriculture Norberto Yahuar said in a statement. “In the next season we will be using these approved seeds and obviously, we will be able to sell more,” he said, after talks in Beijing with his counterpart Han Changfu (韓長賦). The ministry also reported China’s first purchase of a shipment of Argentine corn — a 54,000 tonne sale made through a national private company. Bilateral trade between the two nations was worth US$14.5 billion last year, according to the Chinese embassy in Argentina.