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Tue, Mar 09, 2010 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■FINANCE

Dubai World seeks rollovers

Dubai World, the state-owned holding company seeking to renegotiate terms on about US$26 billion of debt, will ask banks to roll over loans for years when it presents a restructuring proposal to creditors this month, three bankers familiar with the plan said. Banks may be able to avoid a so-called haircut, where they receive less money than they are owed, if they are prepared to wait for years to be repaid, said two of the bankers, who declined to be identified because the process is confidential. Banks prepared to wait for repayments may also be provided a guarantee by the Dubai government, one of the bankers said.

■REAL ESTATE

UK firm seeks acquisitions

Former British Land director Andrew Jones is looking to raise £150 million (US$223 million) to seize “significant” UK property investment opportunities via a new listing on London’s main stock exchange. Jones said the new company — Metric Property Investments — would benefit from the extensive experience of its directors, which include former colleagues Valentine Beresford and Mark Stirling. “We believe that the extensive re-pricing of the real estate market and the adoption of our occupier-led approach will present a significant opportunity for Metric to create value for shareholders,” Jones said in a statement. Metric was negotiating with a number of vendors regarding potential acquisitions in the retail property sector, which is bouncing back, he said.

■FRANCE

Economy grew slightly in Q1

The economy grew by 0.4 percent in the first quarter of this year, a slightly slower pace than previously forecast, the Bank of France said yesterday. The central bank had forecast growth of 0.5 percent in its previous forecast early last month. The new figure is in line with a forecast by the INSEE statistics agency, which said in December it expected a “laborious and fragile” recovery with growth of 0.3 percent to 0.4 percent in the first two quarters of this year. The economy grew by 0.6 percent in the last quarter of last year, the best performance in the 16-nation eurozone.

■JAPAN

Current account logs surplus

Japan logged a current account surplus of US$9.9 billion in January, reversing a year-before deficit thanks to recovering exports, government data showed yesterday. The surplus in the current account came to ¥899.8 billion (US$9.9 billion) against a year-earlier deficit of ¥132.7 billion. The figure exceeded the surplus of around ¥750 billion the market had expected. Exports surged 40.6 percent to ¥4.62 trillion while imports rose 7.1 percent to ¥4.42 trillion. Japan has historically had a large surplus in its current account due to its exports of cars, electronics and other goods.

■ENERGY

Oil passes US$82 a barrel

Oil breached US$82 a barrel in Asian trade yesterday, extending last week’s rally on a better-than-expected US jobs report, analysts said. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery next month, added US$0.46 to US$81.96 a barrel. It struck an intra-day high of US$82.04 a barrel before easing. London’s Brent North Sea crude for next month was up US$0.48 to US$80.37 a barrel. “The unemployment rate last Friday in the US was positive, so the market is optimistic and investors are more willing to take risks,” said Tetsu Emori, a fund manager at Astmax asset management in Tokyo.

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