BEIJING – WORLD BANK President Robert Zoellick said on Monday China’s efforts to deal with slowing growth, falling exports and growing unemployment would help economies across the globe weather the financial crisis.
‘The best way China can help support the world economy at this time is through the efforts China is making to strengthen its own economy,’ Mr Zoellick told journalists after a day of meetings with top economic planners.
But ‘that won’t be easy given the downturn in international trade that China is already experiencing”, he said.– AP
WASHINGTON – Even Apple Inc. is beginning to suffer in this year’s dismal holiday season, and worries are mounting the recession will weigh on its business next year.
Apple, which has outpaced the overall personal computer market this year despite its strategy of eschewing discounts, showed its first signs of weakness in November. — WSJ
PAC wants gov’t to purchase Eurocopter soon
The Public’s Accounts Committee (PAC) has recommended the government to reconsider its decision to delay the purchase of 12 choppers under the much-criticised RM1.6 billion Eurocopter deal.
The recommendation was made in a letter which was circulated among MPs in the Parliament today
PAC said that although inspections concluded that the Nuri helicopters – which are in use presently – were still safe to be used until 2015, the decision to purchase the 12 new helicopters must be made at least by 2011.
“This is because the preparation process for the helicopters takes three years and flight training would take a year.
Singapore– Daily, an average of about 35 people lost their jobs during July to September this year, a big jump from the 21 a day in the preceding three months.
The increase, shown in the latest official figures, signals the growing depth of the economic crisis.
In all, 3,178 people were either laid off or had their contracts ended prematurely in the third-quarter, said the Manpower Ministry on Monday when it released the numbers.
But expect more, said analysts interviewed, adding that it is just the tip of the retrenchment iceberg. –BBC
MADRID – THE International Monetary Fund chief warned on Monday of a global recession but said the world economy could begin to recover in late 2009 or early 2010 after ‘a very difficult year.’
‘The global outlook will continue to deteriorate,’ IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said. ‘The possibility of global recession is really in front of us.’– AFP
MALAYSIA – Najib Razak, the idiot says Malaysia are not effected by world recession. Real great stupid leader from Melayu UMNO. Great liar supported by baskets of dump UMNO members
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bank of America Corp was rated “underperform” by Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group Inc analyst Paul Miller in a note, citing the bank’s “thin tangible common equity” as a chief concern.
The stock could fall as low as $9, the analyst said. Bank of America’s shares closed at $14.1 on Monday, down 5.5 percent. The stock has tumbled 66 percent so far this year.
Last week, Bank of America said it would cut up to 35,000 jobs over three years, reflecting its weaker business activity.
HONG KONG – TWO former Singapore residents have sued DBS Bank (Hong Kong) for selling them structured products linked to the now-collapsed United States investment bank Lehman Brothers.
The retired couple, Mr Stephen Tou Kwok Woon and his wife Wong Fung Chun, filed a writ on Monday against the bank in the High Court here.
The pair, who now live in San Francisco in the US, are seeking to recover the US$1.26 million (S$1.89 million) they had invested in DBS Constellation Notes in July 2006 and April last year. In their lawsuit, the couple have alleged misrepresentation and breach of duty of care.– SNST
WASHINGTON – THE House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a 15-billion-dollar (S$22.5 billion) government lifeline to the teetering US auto industry, but the legislation now faces stiff Republican opposition in the Senate.– AFP
TOKYO – Hundreds of unionized workers rallied in Tokyo on Tuesday to protest massive job cuts, accusing the country’s biggest companies of sacrificing jobs to protect profits.
The global financial crisis has forced some of Japan’s corporate giants to take drastic measures including job cuts, suspending production, postponing projects and closing factories. Sony Corp, Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co are among the major employers to trim thousands of workers from their payrolls.–AP
Singapore– Most economists already seem resigned to seeing the economy shrink next year as growth in manufacturing, tourism and trade sinks into the red.
With only three weeks to the end of the year, economists are predicting that Singapore’s economy will fare worse than the Government has forecast.
The experts also believe the economy will have stagnated in the last three months of this year, logging growth of just 0.4 per cent, down from the 4.8 per cent forecast in September.— Reuters
SEOUL – THE South Korean economy, buffeted by the global meltdown, is fading fast but looks set to slowly recover in 2009, an International Monetary Fund official said on Tuesday.
‘General measures of economic activity are decelerating rapidly,’ said Mr Subir Lall, division chief in the Washington-based organization’s Asia-Pacific department.
The IMF is predicting economic growth of 2 per cent next year for South Korea, a major reversal for an economy that grew 5 per cent in 2007.–AP
ROME – ITALY is officially in recession as data on Wednesday confirmed that the eurozone’s third largest economy shrank for a second consecutive quarter while falling industrial production further clouded the outlook.
The economy shrank 0.5 per cent in the third quarter, the national statistics agency announced, confirming figures released in mid-November.—AFP
WASHINGTON – PRESIDENT-ELECT Barack Obama said the US economy seems destined to get worse before it gets better and he pledged a recovery plan ‘that is equal to the task ahead’.
Mr Obama also said in an interview broadcast Sunday that the survival of the domestic car-making capacity is important, yet any bailout must be ‘conditioned on an auto industry emerging at the end of the process that actually works’.AP
VIENNA – WORLDWIDE demand for oil is shrinking as industrialised countries slip deeper into recession, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries said on Tuesday, as the cartel looked set to cut output later this week.
Indeed, if the recession deepens, ‘the growing imbalance on the oil market … presents a real challenge for all market participants and will be the main focus of discussion’ at Opec ministers’ meeting in Oran, Algeria, on Wednesday, the cartel said in its December monthly report.
While high oil prices had depressed demand in the first half of the year, ‘the sharp downturn in the US economy reduced the country’s oil demand in the second half of the year. The financial crisis spilled over into the rest of the world, which resulted in a strong decline in oil consumption,’ the report said. — AFP
TAIPEI – HSBC bank said on Tuesday it would cut 10 per cent of its staff in Taiwan, about 300 jobs, through a voluntary redundancy programme amid slower loan growth in the global recession.
HSBC Taiwan Chief Executive Nicholas G. Winsor said some 150 of HSBC’s 3,000 employees in Taiwan had so far signed up for the programme.–AFP
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to lower interest rates closer to zero on Tuesday and point toward emergency tools it could deploy to end a year-long recession, with room to cut borrowing costs running out.
In fact, some economists predict the United States could suffer a deflationary period of its own in 2009, as tumbling oil and commodity prices, alongside increasing slack in the economy, deliver a sustained fall in general prices.
MISSISSIPPI – Toyota Motor Corp. has indefinitely delayed a plant in Mississippi that was slated to start making its Prius hybrid sedan in May 2010, the latest sign that even foreign auto makers are scaling back North American operations.
Toyota approved the plant in 2007, when sales were booming and foreign makers were racing to expand production to grab market share from the Big Three U.S. car companies. But the recession and plunge in industry sales to crisis levels are forcing even healthier car companies to retreat. — WSJ
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