World Business Quick Take


Thu, Apr 19, 2018 - Page 10


European sales weaken

European car sales turned in their weakest performance in the first quarter since an industrywide contraction five years ago. First-quarter registrations edged up 0.6 percent, according to figures released yesterday by the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association. The gain was the slowest since the second quarter of 2013, when the region was in the throes of a recession. A 5.2 percent downturn last month, led by drops in three of the five biggest markets — Germany, the UK and Italy — suggests that “momentum is starting to slow,” the association said.


US hits Chinese imports

The US Department of Commerce on Tuesday said it had made a preliminary determination that common alloy aluminum sheet imports from China are being subsidized, and set countervailing duties of up to 113 percent. Imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from China were valued at an estimated US$600 million in 2016, the department said in a statement. A final determination in the countervailing duty investigation is scheduled to be announced on Aug. 30, it said. The department also announced that it was starting new investigations to determine if certain steel wheels from China are being dumped. It said that the alleged dumping margins ranged from 12.1 percent to 231.7 percent.


Japan’s US surplus dips

Japan’s politically sensitive trade surplus with the US edged down last month, government data showed yesterday. Japan logged a surplus of ¥623.1 billion (US$5.9 billion) with the US, down 0.2 percent, as imports of US-made cars and aircraft climbed, according to Japanese Ministry of Finance data. Japan’s overall trade surplus was ¥797.3 billion last month, up 32.1 percent year-on-year — the second straight monthly surplus after logging a deficit in January. Exports edged up 2.1 percent due to growth in demand for cars and chip-making equipment, while imports slid 0.6 percent year-on-year.


World Bank raises US$1.5bn

The World Bank fund dedicated to helping the world’s poorest countries on Tuesday announced it has raised US$1.5 billion in its first-ever global bond issue, which enjoyed huge demand from investors. The International Development Association (IDA) issued a five-year “AAA”-rated bond which had nearly five times more demand than the amount initially offered for sale, the World Bank said in a statement. More than 40 percent of the bonds went to central banks, while a quarter went to banks and another quarter to pension funds. The funds will be used to finance sustainable development projects.


Deutsche ends India talks

Deutsche Bank AG called off talks to sell its retail and private wealth businesses in India to IndusInd Bank Ltd, people with knowledge of the matter said. The sale was a project initiated under former chief executive officer John Cryan and Deutsche Bank is reconsidering the deal following his departure earlier this month, the people said. The two businesses have about 300 billion rupees (US$4.6 billion) in assets, according to one of the people. New Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing and retail head Frank Strauss decided the bank did not get a price that justified selling the profitable unit, the people said.