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Car sales upturn fails to halt European price war PARIS: Europe's car sales recovery may be taking hold, according to registrations data published on Thursday, but confidential industry surveys show the price war is raging on.Discounts outgrew first-quarter sales, according to the data seen by Reuters, casting doubt on the strength of the recovery and earnings outlook for carmakers in the region. Registrations rose 10.4 percent in March, the Association of European Carmakers said, rounding off an 8.1 percent gain for the first three months, after six straight years of contraction. But average retail incentives jumped 12 percent to almost 2,750 euros ($3,800) per vehicle in the five biggest markets, the findings of a major market researcher show. "There should be significant concern about artificial growth," said Ernst & Young senior automotive partner Peter Fuss, citing discounts, government incentives and cut-price sales of unused vehicles as 'nearly new'.The industry's bottom line "continues to be under severe pressure", he said. ...

BoJ Kuroda repeats vow to adjust policy when needed TOKYO: Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Thursday that the central bank will adjust monetary policy when needed, taking into account risks to the economy and prices. He also repeated that Japan was making steady progress toward achieving its 2 percent inflation target as the economy continues to recover moderately. "The BoJ will maintain its quantitative and qualitative easing (QQE) until necessary to achieve its 2 percent price target in a stable manner," ...

Australia's central bank sold A$736mn in March SYDNEY: The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) sold A$736 million ($639 million) of Australian dollars on a net basis on the spot foreign exchange market during March, central bank data shows.The RBA manages the forex needs of the government, which for example may need foreign currency to buy military hardware or pay embassy salaries, and that usually makes up the vast bulk of its spot transactions in any month.The RBA sold A$763 million for foreign ...

SAP warns exchange rate impact to worsen in Q2 FRANKFURT: German business software maker SAP expects the negative impact of volatile exchange rates to worsen in the second quarter as the strong euro weighs on its financial results. The group warned on Thursday that software and software-related service revenues would take a 6 percentage point hit in the second quarter if exchange rates remained at March levels. Operating profit, excluding special items would be 8 percentage points lower, SAP said. Copyright Reuters, 2014

Google takes hit on growth disappointment NEW YORK: Google lost some of its luster Wednesday as quarterly results failed to meet lofty Wall Street expectations, sending its shares down sharply.The California tech giant said its first quarter profit rose 32 percent from a year ago to $3.45 billion.Chief executive Larry Page hailed "another great quarter" for Google, with revenue of $15.4 billion, up 19 percent year on year."We got lots of product improvements done, especially on mobile. I'm also excited with ...

Telecom Italia overhauls board, elects new chairman ROME: Telecom Italia investors elected a new chairman Wednesday and overhauled the company's board in a bid to bring greater transparency and efficiency to Italy's largest phone group.Giuseppe Recchi, outgoing chairman of oil group Eni, was elected as part of a restructuring of the board which saw independent directors favoured over executives from shareholder Telefonica, Italian media reports said.The revamp aims to give chief executive Marco Patuano greater flexibility in tackling the group's mammoth debts ...

In green car race, Toyota adds muscle with fuel-cell launch TOYOTA CITY: In 1997, Toyota caught its competitors by surprise with the revolutionary Prius, the first commercially successful gasoline-electric hybrid car. Now, the Japanese firm is trying to do the same with a technology that seems straight out of science fiction.Toyota Motor Corp will next year launch a hydrogen-powered car in the United States, Japan and Europe. For now, people at Toyota are calling it the 2015 FC car, for fuel-cell.Fuel-cell cars use a "stack" ...


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Foreign Debt $60.9bn
Per Cap Income $1,368
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WeeklyApril 14, 2014
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