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Wed, Oct 14, 2009 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■UNITED KINGDOM

Recovery may be near

Britain is “on the brink” of ending a deep recession after sentiment improved in the third quarter but the economy remains “frail,” the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) said yesterday. “The Q3 results support our assessment that the UK economy is on the brink of leaving recession,” BCC chief economist David Kern said in a statement. “However, the improvement is not sufficiently strong to allow us to conclude without doubt that GDP has already returned to positive growth.” The BCC report contrasts with many analysts who believe Britain has exited recession by returning to positive GDP growth between July and last month. Britain must wait until Oct. 23 for official data.

■IRELAND

Economy to contract 7.2%

The recession-battered economy will contract by 7.2 percent this year before returning to growth late next year, the country’s top economic think tank forecast yesterday. The prediction from the Economic and Social Research Institute, contained in its latest quarterly report, was an improvement on the 7.9 percent contraction in GDP it estimated in July. The ESRI expects the economy to decline overall by another 1.1 percent next year. That was an improvement on the previous forecast of a 2.3 percent drop.

■FRANCE

Growth may hit 1% in 2010

The economy should grow by more than 1 percent next year, rather than the 0.75 percent that is currently projected, Prime Minister Francois Fillon said yesterday. “The worst of the [economic] crisis has passed,” he told RTL radio. “We have not been in recession since the second quarter of 2009. “The forecast that I have for 2010 is said by economists to be too cautious and growth will likely be more than 1.0 percent.” The French economy, after suffering four straight quarters of negative growth, managed to expand 0.3 percent in the second quarter this year. The government has forecast growth of 0.75 percent next year after an expected contraction of 2.25 percent this year.

■MEDIA

ITV hopes to raise funds

British commercial broadcaster ITV PLC said yesterday it is seeking to raise £120 million (US$190 million) through a convertible bond issue to bolster its finances and noted a stabilization in advertising demand. “The actions that we are announcing today continue our work over recent months to strengthen the balance sheet, improve our debt maturity profile and proactively manage our pension deficit over the long term,” said John Cresswell, the company’s chief operating officer. ITV said advertising revenue had continued to decline but at a slower rate in the second half of the year. It forecast that ad revenue would be down about 3 percent for the full year.

■INTERNET

Google board loses director

Genentech chairman Arthur Levinson has resigned from the board of directors of Google amid a probe by US authorities into his membership on the boards of Google and Apple. In a statement on Monday, Google did not give any reason for Levinson’s departure, but it comes just two months after Google CEO Eric Schmidt resigned from the board of Apple. US law prohibits a person from serving on the boards of two companies that are direct rivals, and the Federal Trade Commission opened an investigation in May into the overlapping Google and Apple board memberships.

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