Growth outlook raised
The nation yesterday raised its economic growth outlook this year to 2.7 percent from the 2.3 percent estimated in March, citing payoffs from back-to-back stimulus measures. The government also predicted that the economy would expand 4 percent next year. Meanwhile, the nation’s monthly current-account surplus hit an all-time high last month, with exports growing and imports falling, the Bank of Korea said yesterday. The current-account surplus stood at US$8.64 billion last month, the highest monthly amount on record, and up from US$3.57 billion a year earlier.
Account deficit narrows
The nation’s current account deficit narrowed to 3.6 percent of GDP in the first quarter of the year, data showed yesterday, helping to reverse a dramatic slide in the rupee to historic lows. The better-than-expected figures eased pressure on the currency, which lost nearly 2 percent on Wednesday when it touched a record 60 to the US dollar. The deficit for the three months to March was US$18.1 billion, compared with a record US$32.6 billion, or 6.7 percent of GDP, for the previous quarter, the Reserve Bank of India said in a statement.
ANA discusses compensation
Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) has begun compensation talks with Boeing over losses stemming from its troubled Dreamliner aircraft, the Nikkei Shimbun said yesterday. The carrier told its annual shareholders meeting that it lost about ￥12.5 billion (US$128 million) in sales after Boeing’s next-generation jet was grounded in January over a series of battery glitches, the report said, citing executive vice president Kiyoshi Tonomoto. Last week, Japan Airlines (JAL) said it had started compensation talks with Boeing after being forced to cancel hundreds of flights. JAL said it lost about ￥3.9 billion because of the problems.
Dish ends Clearwire bid
Dish Network on Wednesday ended its bid to acquire Clearwire, clearing the path for rival Sprint Nextel to acquire the 50 percent of Clearwire it does not already own. Dish said it was withdrawing its tender offer to acquire Clearwire for US$4.40 per share, which was topped last week when Sprint raised its bid to US$5.00 a share. Last week, Dish abandoned its bid to acquire Sprint itself for US$25.5 billion after Japan’s Softbank raised its bid for Sprint.
GM to invest in Mexico
General Motors (GM) announced on Wednesday that it will invest US$691 million to boost its operations in Mexico, a nation whose low wages and proximity to the US are increasingly attracting automakers. GM said US$349 million will be allocated for a plant to build eight-speed transmissions in the central city of Silao, US$211 million to expand its complex in Toluca, near Mexico City, and US$131 million to expand a next-generation transmission factory in San Luis Potosi.
Gazprom ends gas project
Russia’s energy giant Gazprom yesterday said it was giving up development of the Shtokman natural gas field under the Barents Sea until new technology made the project viable. “We are waiting for the emergence of more efficient technologies, less costly or that market conditions change,” company spokesman Sergei Kuprianov told Moscow radio, delaying indefinitely a project in which France’s Total remained a partner.