World Business Quick Take


Wed, Oct 17, 2018 - Page 10


IMF to reopen office

The IMF on Monday said it has decided to reopen an office, six years after leaving. The decision came days after Buenos Aires reached a deal with the IMF on the money supply, interest rates and an exchange-rate framework. In exchange for these measures, the fund agreed to speed up payment of a US$50 billion loan granted in June to Latin America’s third-largest economy. IMF economist Trevor Alleyne is to be the fund’s representative in Buenos Aires. He has overseen IMF missions in countries such as Nigeria, Zambia, Jamaica, Peru, Venezuela and Ecuador.


Wages rise most since 2009

Wages are growing at their fastest pace in almost a decade, suggesting that the economy is continuing to operate with little slack. Average earnings excluding bonuses rose 3.1 percent in the three months through August, the most since January 2009, the Office for National Statistics said yesterday. Unemployment held at a 43-year low of 4 percent. While wage growth remains below its pre-crisis average, muted productivity means that even a modest pickup could fuel inflation as companies raise prices to protect their margins. Bank of England officials in August raised interest rates, although Brexit uncertainty means no further increases are expected before March next year.


Q3 home sales rise 9%

Home sales rose 9 percent across the nation’s seven biggest cities in the third quarter, boosted by low-budget apartments, Anarock Property Consultants Pvt said. The highest sales were recorded in Mumbai and Pune, which accounted for about 27 percent of purchases across the cities, the real-estate broker said in a report. The National Capital Region, which covers Delhi and surrounding areas, and Hyderabad posted the lowest growth, with a 2 percent increase from the second quarter, the data showed. The third quarter is usually a slow period for the housing market because of the 15-day shraddh period, which is considered inauspicious for buying property.


BoA blames risk avoidance

Bank of America Corp (BoA) blames some of its investment bank’s earnings miss on avoidance of riskier loan deals as shadow banks get tougher. However, since leveraged lending traffic cops stopped handing out tickets for infringing their guidance months back, this seems like a self-imposed limit. The US administration has long been telegraphing a loosening of rules on how banks arrange and syndicate leveraged finance debt. US Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting in February said that banks could do leveraged lending however they want, as long as it does not affect their soundness. After getting that green light, many Wall Street underwriters got more aggressive in pursuit of profit.


Drax to buy Iberdrola plants

Drax Group PLC agreed to buy some of Iberdrola SA’s power plants for £702 million (US$926.52 million), boosting its clean energy assets. The acquisition involves pumped storage, renewable hydro and gas-fired power assets and would increase the utility’s generation capacity by more than 60 percent to about 6.6 gigawatts, CEO Will Gardiner said yesterday. Once the deal is completed it would also help boost the company’s already-growing dividend by about 8 percent, he said. Drax has already rebuilt its facility in north Yorkshire, England, to fuel four of its six coal units with biomass.