Industrial profit growth rises
Industrial profit growth rebounded last month, adding to signs that the world’s second-biggest economy is stabilizing after a two-quarter slowdown and an interbank lending squeeze in June. Net income rose 12 percent from a year earlier after gaining 6.3 percent in June, the statistics bureau said yesterday. Power, telecommunications, and auto manufacturing contributed to the increase, while coal miners’ profits slid.
Business confidence up
Business confidence rose for the fourth month in a row this monthy, data showed yesterday, slightly exceeding expectations for the economy which is the biggest in Europe. The Ifo economic institute’s closely watched business climate index rose to 107.5 points this month from 106.2 points last month. Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a slightly lower increase.
Seoul scraps KDB plan
South Korea plans to keep a controlling stake in Korea Development Bank (KDB) to support domestic industry, scrapping a five-year-old plan to privatize the nation’s biggest policy lender. The Financial Services Commission will this year submit a revised version of the KDB Act, a mandate to break up KDB Financial Group Inc, the regulator said in a statement yesterday. Under the revision, the government would merge policy lender Korea Finance Corp with Korea Development Bank by July next year, while selling the brokerage unit and other assets. The revision is subject to parliament approval.
Lira hits record low
The lira fell to a record low level early yesterday on signals of a tightening of US monetary policy which have hit emerging market currencies hard. The lira plunged to 2.0095 to the US dollar in initial trading, rallying later to 2.0028 from 1.9920 at the close on Monday when the central bank sold US$350 million in defense of the lira. The main Turkish stock market fell by 1.66 percent in morning trading.
AstraZeneca buys firm
AstraZeneca yesterday said that it has agreed to buy US-based cancer drugs company Amplimmune, as the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceuticals group seeks to bolster its flagging pipeline of new products. Under the deal, MedImmune will acquire 100 percent of Amplimmune’s shares for an initial price of US$225 million, with another US$275 million deferred until it reaches key drug development milestones.
Breast implant suit filed
About 300 women with faulty PIP breast implants have filed suit seeking US$54.7 million in damages from three European companies, their attorney said on Monday. “We have filed a class-action suit against France’s Poly Implant Protheses [PIP], Germany’s TUV Rheinland [quality control] and German insurer Allianz,” Virginia Luna told reporters, warning that the total damages sought could be vastly higher since about 15,000 women are believed to have been affected in the country.
Yahoo buys IQ Engines
Yahoo on Monday confirmed that it has bought image search specialty startup IQ Engines to add the company’s technology to its Flickr photo service. IQ Engines is known for software that analyzes, sorts and categorizes images using techniques including facial recognition.