World Business Quick Take

Agencies

Wed, Sep 11, 2019 - Page 10

CHINA

Producer price index dives

The prices firms pay factories for their goods fell last month at the fastest pace in three years, official data showed yesterday, as slackening demand and the bruising US trade dispute dragged on the economy. The producer price index — an important barometer of the industrial sector that measures the cost of goods at the factory gate — dropped 0.8 percent year-on-year last month, following a 0.3 percent drop in July. Consumer prices were also broadly subdued and only supported by a surge of almost 50 percent in the price of pork caused by African swine fever that has ravaged the nation’s pig industry since last year. The consumer price index rose 2.8 percent, stabilizing from July and beating forecasts.

OIL

Aramco readies local IPO

Saudi Arabian Oil Co (Aramco) chief executive officer Amin Nasser yesterday said that a domestic initial public offering (IPO) of the state oil giant would be the primary listing, but that it was also ready for an international offering. Nasser cited new Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman as saying that an IPO would happen “very soon,” but added that the ultimate decision on timing and venue rested with the government. Saudi Arabia is planning a gradual listing of Aramco on its domestic market, sources said on Monday, as it moves ahead with the process and finalizes the roles banks will play in the listing of the world’s biggest oil company.

INDONESIA

Bank predicts 4.9% growth

The World Bank projects that the nation’s economic growth next year would slide below 5 percent and warned of the potential for “severe” capital outflows as global risks including the US-China trade dispute intensify. The forecasts were presented to President Joko Widodo, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. The presentation slides show a growth forecast of 4.9 percent for next year, which would be the slowest pace since 2015. That is lower than current projections of 5.1 percent for this year and 5.2 percent for next year in the World Bank’s June quarterly report.

E-COMMERCE

Amazon Prime reaches Brazil

Amazon.com Inc is bringing its Prime membership program to Brazil in an effort to leapfrog competitors and gain traction in a nation where it has been expanding slowly but surely. To start, Amazon Prime Brazil is to be a scaled-down version of the US subscription service, offering free unlimited shipping for about 500,000 products out of the 20 million Amazon sells in Latin America’s largest economy. Two day-shipping would be available in 90 cities, the company said. Deliveries in other urban centers would take three days or more.

AUTOMAKERS

Moody’s slashes Ford rating

Ford Motor Co’s plan to spend years and US$11 billion restructuring itself was dealt a major setback by Moody’s Investors Service, which cut the automaker’s credit rating over doubt that its initiatives would generate earnings and cash. Moody’s downgraded Ford to “Ba1,” saying its cash flow and profit margins are below expectations and are likely to remain weak over the next two years. Ford is rated “BBB” — two steps above junk — at S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings, and both have negative outlooks.