World Business Quick Take


Wed, Apr 17, 2019 - Page 10


Trade deficit with China cut

The nation has cut its trade deficit with China by the most in more than a decade, according to people familiar with the data, as it boosted exports amid a US-China trade dispute. Exports to China jumped 31 percent year-on-year to US$17 billion in the financial year ended March 31, the people said, asking not to be identified as the data is not yet public. In the process, it cut the bilateral trade deficit by US$10 billion to US$53 billion. The surge in exports was mainly due to greater demand for marine products, grapes, raw cotton and plastic raw materials: items that were casualties in US President Donald Trump’s trade dispute with Beijing. It was the second consecutive year that the nation’s shipments to China have grown by more than 30 percent. New Delhi has also used the opportunity to push for greater cooperation with China on trade, using talks for a Beijing-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership as a lever.


Lufthansa posts a loss

Deutsche Lufthansa AG reported a first-quarter loss because of rising fuel costs and downward pressure on fares, sending its shares plunging in a sign of deepening industry woes after the German airline cut its growth plans last month. The shares fell 5 percent in pre-market activity on Tradegate after the nation’s biggest carrier disclosed an adjusted loss before interest and taxes of 336 million euros (US$380 million). The downturn, which compared with earnings of 52 million euros a year earlier, was particularly stark because of strong results for the beginning of last year following the collapse of Air Berlin, Lufthansa said in a statement late on Monday. The loss comes after Lufthansa opted to pare planned capacity increases this summer to bolster prices and focus on profitability. The European airline industry is coming off a tough year, with bad weather and strikes among the factors hurting profit.


Lotus unveils ‘hypercar’

Lotus yesterday announced in Shanghai a concept for the first fully electric British hypercar, the Type 130. Unveiled on the morning of the first day of the Shanghai International Auto Show, the Type 130 would be the first all-new vehicle from the Hethel, England-based automaker in 11 years. The news arrived after word that Lotus parent company Geely Holding Group (吉利控股集團) would begin manufacturing vehicles in China, working from a new US$1.3 billion factory in Wuhan. A spokesman from Lotus declined to say when the factory would open, but said the new vehicle would not be built there, but at company factories in England.


Former VW CEO charged

German prosecutors have charged former Volkswagen AG (VW) chief executive Martin Winterkorn and four others with fraud in the emissions cheating scandal that has helped turn many Europeans against diesel engines and accelerated the push toward electric vehicles. Prosecutors on Monday said that Winterkorn knew about the scheme since at least May 2014 and failed to put a stop to it. That contradicted his claim that he did not learn about it until shortly before US investigators announced it in September 2015. Winterkorn resigned as chief executive five days later. VW has admitted installing software in its diesel vehicles that turned on pollution controls when they were being tested and switched them off during everyday driving.