Good rice harvest expected
Vietnam, the second-largest rice exporter, may match last year’s record shipment level this year, the government said. Vietnam exported 6.05 million tonnes last year, according to figures from Pham Van Du, a deputy director general of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, speaking at a conference yesterday in Ho Chi Minh City. This year’s target is between 5.5 million and 6 million tonnes, and indications are that the high end of the range may be reached, Pham said. “Production is now in surplus,” he said. Shipments of 6 million tonnes would beat by 4 percent the US Foreign Agricultural Service’s forecast that Vietnam will export 5.75 million tonnes this year, second to 9.5 million tonnes by Thailand.
Toyota production rises 27%
Toyota’s global car production zoomed 27 percent last month as Japanese automakers benefit from improving demand in Asia and the US. Toyota Motor Corp, the world’s No. 1 automaker, said yesterday it produced 637,675 vehicles worldwide last month. Toyota’s sales in Japan increased year-on-year for the 10th straight month, it said. Honda Motor Co’s worldwide production totaled 278,543 vehicles last month, surging 42.8 percent from a year earlier for the sixth straight month of improved production. Honda said US production increased year-on-year for the seventh straight month while production in Asia was up for the 10th straight month. Even Japan, a struggling market, saw production rise for the fifth straight month, Honda said.
Economy will shrink 4%
The head of the IMF’s mission to Greece said he expects the economy to shrink 4 percent this year, but that growth will resume in 2012. Poul Thomsen, deputy director and mission chief at the IMF’s European Department, said in an interview to newspaper To Vima that the government’s austerity program is on the right track. “We already have positive developments: the deficit is shrinking, public finances are better managed, the banking system is stable and vital structural reforms are under way,” he was quoted as saying. The government is scheduled to introduce legislation this week to reform the pension system, and unions have responded by calling a general strike for today.
Aabar shares decline
Shares of the Abu Dhabi investment fund with the largest stake in German automaker Daimler plunged 7 percent on Sunday as stockholders fretted over the firm’s plan to take itself private. Aabar Investments surprised investors when it first floated the possibility of canceling its stock market listing and going private early last week. That plan looks far more certain now that the company’s board has approved plans for a shareholder vote on the proposal. Aabar said in a regulatory filing posted before the trading week opened on Sunday it would hold the vote on July 26. The Abu Dhabi government owns the majority of Aabar, giving it considerable influence over decision-making at the company. “The board of Aabar considers this step as essential in the life of the company to provide Aabar with greater operational flexibility required to ensure the ongoing success of the company’s investment strategy and its ability to effect opportunistic acquisitions both in the UAE and abroad,” the company said in the filing.