Consumer inflation soars
Consumer inflation last month accelerated at its fastest pace in almost six years as African swine fever sent pork prices soaring nearly 70 percent, official data showed yesterday. The consumer price index hit 3 percent last month, the National Bureau of Statistics said, up from 2.8 percent in August and the highest since since November 2013.However, the producer price index — an important barometer that measures the cost of goods at the factory gate — contracted 1.2 percent from the previous year, the bureau said.
Apartment sales up 13%
Sales of private apartments last month jumped 13 percent to the highest in more than a year, even as home-price growth became more moderate. Developers in the city-state sold 1,270 apartments last month versus a revised 1,123 in August, Urban Redevelopment Authority data released yesterday showed. That is the most since July last year, when the government shocked the market by introducing curbs to take the heat out of residential real estate.
Uber retrenches about 350
In his latest bid to reduce losses at Uber Technologies Inc, chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi fired about 350 employees, in what he said is the “last wave” of workforce reductions. The cuts hit a handful of divisions, including self-driving car development and food delivery. Uber dismissed more than 800 employees over two rounds of cuts in July and last month. TechCrunch reported the news earlier on Monday, and an Uber spokesman confirmed the cuts. About 70 percent of the dismissals occurred in North America.
Harley electric bike on hold
Harley-Davidson Inc on Monday announced that it had suspended production and delivery of its LiveWire electric motorcycle, which the brand had rolled out as part of a diversification push. “We recently discovered a non-standard condition during a final quality check; stopped production and deliveries; and began additional testing,” the company said in a statement. The Wall Street Journal reported that the decision came after a problem with the vehicle’s battery charging was discovered.
Negative rates at UniCredit
Italian banking giant UniCredit on Monday said it would pass on negative interest rates to clients with deposits of more than 1 million euros (US$1.1 million), having earlier spoken of charging for accounts with 100,000 euros. That would make it the first big eurozone bank to do so. UniCredit, which is also a major lender in Austria and several eastern European nations, plans to offer these clients money market investment alternatives on the balance up to 1 million that aim to avoid a negative return.
Metro Pacific ditches IPO
The hospital venture of a Philippine investment group delayed what would have been the nation’s biggest initial public offering (IPO) and instead plans to raise 35.3 billion pesos (US$684 million) by selling shares to KKR & Co and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte. KKR and GIC are to pay 5.2 billion pesos for a 2.7 percent stake in Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings Inc and buy bonds worth 30.1 billion pesos, convertible into 239.93 million shares, a statement said yesterday. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of this year.