12042016Sun
Last update: Sun, 04 Dec 2016 02am

Global Business & Economy

World - Global Business & Economy

Japan spending gets Leap Year boost, but broader outlook dim TOKYO: Spending by Japanese families increased in February for the first time in six months, government data showed Tuesday, but analysts said the rare good news for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is likely to be short-lived.Abe came to power in December 2012 vowing to rejuvenate the world's third-largest economy by ending deflation -- a debilitating decline in consumer prices that has suppressed spending for years.But the prime minister's eponymous "Abenomics" policies, which include the Bank of Japan buying massive amounts of government bonds and introducing a negative interest rate, have so far failed to achieve his goals.Japanese household spending rose 1.2 percent in February from the same month last year, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry data showed, the first gain since August.The result surprised economists who had foreseen a 1.9 percent decline. according to a Bloomberg market forecast.Economists, however, likely overlooked the positive effect of the extra day in ...

World - Global Business & Economy

China steel firm defaults after chairman found dead SHANGHAI: A Chinese steel company has defaulted on an 852 million yuan ($131 million) bond payment, days after its chairman was found dead in an apparent suicide.Dongbei Special Steel Group Co. said late Monday it was unable to pay the interest or principal due on a one-year bond, while another 1.01 billion yuan on a shorter-term bill due next week was also "uncertain".The company said last week that its chairman and Communist Party chief Yang ...

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US pledges another $20 million for refugee aid in Europe MYTILENE: The United States will provide an additional $20 million (18 million euros) in aid for refugees in Europe, a senior US official said Monday.Heather Higginbottom, US deputy secretary of state for management and resources, said this brings Washington's total commitment to Europe's migration crisis to $43.6 million since last year.Most of the funds -- $17.5 million -- will be given to the UN refugee agency, Higginbottom said during a visit to Lesbos, the island ...

World - Global Business & Economy

China's Anbang raises offer for Starwood to $14 billion China's Anbang Insurance Group Co raised its offer for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc to almost $14 billion, Starwood said on Monday, in the latest challenge to the U.S. hotel operator's merger with Marriott International Inc.The bidding war for Starwood has pitted Marriott's ambitions to create the world's largest lodging company with about 5,700 hotels against Anbang's drive to create a vast portfolio of U.S. real estate assets.The acquisition of Starwood, owner of the ...

World - Global Business & Economy

US pending home sales hit seven-month high in February WASHINGTON: Contracts to buy previously owned US homes rose sharply in February, reversing the previous month's deep decline, as the volatility of the data continues to make it difficult to parse the strength of the housing market.The National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index rose 3.5 percent to 109.1 last month, the highest level in seven months. January's reading was revised to show a 3.0 percent decline, which was deeper than initially ...

World - Global Business & Economy

US consumer spending edges up in February WASHINGTON: US consumer spending edged higher in February as income growth slowed and consumer prices fell slightly, according to official data released Monday that suggested tepid expansion in the economy.Consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of the activity in the US economy, rose 0.1 percent in February, matching the previous two months' increases, the Commerce Department said, sharply revising down January's 0.5 percent gain.Personal income increased 0.2 percent last month, marking a slowdown from ...

World - Global Business & Economy

China Feb services trade deficit narrows to $16bn BEIJING: China's trade deficit in services narrowed to $16 billion in February compared with $20.7 billion in January, the foreign exchange regulator said on Monday.February's gap was largely due to a $15.5 billion gulf in spending between Chinese who spent more abroad than foreign tourists in China, data from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) showed.In the first two months, the services trade deficit stood at $36.7 billion yuan, according to Reuters' calculation.China had ...