World Business Quick Take


Sat, Jan 13, 2018 - Page 10


Long-term credit rated “BB-”

The government on Thursday vowed to push on with economic reforms after the international credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) downgraded its long-term credit rating because of “slower than expected” changes by President Michel Temer’s government. S&P downgraded Brazil’s credit standing into junk status, at “BB-,” because of its disappointing efforts to “correct structural fiscal slippage and rising debt levels on a timely basis.” S&P kept the nation’s short-term rating at “B.”


Samsung accused of abuses

Two French campaign groups on Thursday filed a legal case against Samsung Electronics Co in France over the alleged use of child labor and other abuses in Chinese manufacturing plants working for the electronics giant. Accusing the company of using misleading commercial practices, the non-governmental organizations Peuples Solidaires and Sherpa lodged a complaint in Paris against the international parent company and its French subsidiary. The groups alleged that children had been found in Chinese plants producing Samsung products, and that other staff faced severe health problems.


SUV popularity saves sales

An industry group says China’s auto sales shrank last month and ended last year up just 1.4 percent over the previous year as the popularity of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) helped to offset contraction in demand for sedans. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers yesterday said last month’s sales of SUVs, sedans and minivans shrank by 0.7 percent from a year earlier to 2.6 million. Total vehicle sales including trucks and buses edged up 0.1 percent to just over 3 million.


Dropbox files for IPO

Dropbox Inc, the file-sharing private company valued at US$10 billion, has filed confidentially for a US initial public offering (IPO), people familiar with the matter said. Goldman Sachs Group Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co are to lead the potential listing, the people said. Dropbox is talking to other banks this month to fill additional roles on the IPO, the people said. The company aims to list in the first half of this year, one of the people said.


REIT gains might be limited

Credit Suisse Group AG warned that gains for Singapore’s real-estate investment trusts (REITs) could be limited this year after a surge in prices last year left valuations looking stretched. Kum Soek Ching, head of Southeast Asia research in the firm’s private banking operation, pointed to declines in the extra yield from the securities versus risk-free rates from Singaporean government bonds. For this year, the REITs might return 3.4 percentage points over a 10-year bond, less than the historical average of 3.7 percentage points, Kum wrote in a note.


‘Slave’ coffee pulled

British supermarket Waitrose has pulled a brand of Italian coffee off its shelves after shoppers noticed the packaging featured images of 19th-century slaves working on plantations. Waitrose removed the tins of Saquella 1856 coffee from sale last month after complaints from customers in London about the images of slaves harvesting beans in Guatemala, Central America. Saquella 1856 apologized in a statement for any offence caused by its images, saying it was “shocked to learn they had been interpreted in this way.”