France says deficits rise as Covid destroys rebound hopes

  PARIS, France (AFP) — France’s government deficit will deepen and public debt rise after a lingering Covid crisis smashed hopes of a rapid economic rebound, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday. The annual deficit, which has spiralled as President Emmanuel Macron’s government tries to prop up the struggling economy with massive spending, is now expected to reach nine percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2021, he told reporters. This compares to […]

Saudi plans to invest $3.2 trillion to boost private sector

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) — Saudi Arabia announced plans Tuesday to pump $3.2 trillion in fresh investments by 2030 to boost the private sector, as the OPEC kingpin pushes to diversify its oil-reliant economy. The announcement by de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman comes as the petro-state battles high unemployment and a coronavirus-triggered downturn. “The total investment injected… into the national economy is expected to reach 12 trillion riyals ($3.2 trillion) by 2030,” […]

Dollar breaks 110 yen for first time since March 2020

HONG KONG, China (AFP) — The dollar broke through the 110 yen barrier Tuesday for the first time in a year as optimism about the global economic outlook and rising US bond yields see investors turn away from the safe haven Japanese unit. The greenback hit 110.18 yen in afternoon trade as investors grow increasingly confident that world growth will pick up pace this year thanks to huge stimulus spending, particularly by the United States. […]

Globe myBusiness fetes #Pinaypreneurs in Women’s Month

  In celebration of International  Women’s Month, Globe myBusiness conducted a series of activities that honor, inspire and empower women entrepreneurs that include social activation promotions and learning sessions for SMEs. Globe myBusiness “celebrates the achievements of women-led SMEs, Filipina entrepreneurs, their visibility in the new future and taps inspirational SMEs that chose to innovate their business in spite of the uncertainties of 2020.” SMEs were invited to be creative and post on their social […]

Oil surges as stocks trade mixed amid latest Covid-19 wave

by John BIERS NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Oil prices surged Wednesday following the blockage of the Suez canal, while stocks were mixed as governments struggle to contain the latest wave of the coronavirus. Crude futures surged six percent as traders assessed the likely impact from the grounding of a giant container ship in one of the world’s busiest shipping routes. Dozens of ships were blocked by the Panama-flagged ship, but historic sections of […]

Renewed lockdowns send oil prices tumbling

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Oil prices nosedived Tuesday on lower demand prospects as Europe’s biggest economy Germany said it would reimpose strict coronavirus containment measures as it struggles, along with other EU nations, to roll out vaccines. European stocks ended the day mostly lower, as did US stocks, as renewed fears of spreading Covid-19 overtook hopes of a swift reopening to the world’s largest economy. On currency markets, the Turkish lira stabilized a […]

New Zealand economy posts record decline in 2020

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AFP) — New Zealand’s economy shrank at a record rate of 2.9 percent in 2020 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, official data released Thursday showed. Statistics New Zealand said the economy contracted just one percent in the final quarter of 2020 but a coronavirus-induced recession earlier in the year meant the annual fall was the highest on record. “The decline in annual gross domestic product is largely due to […]

Warren Buffett net worth surpasses $100 billion: Forbes

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — US businessman Warren Buffett on Wednesday joined the small circle of executives worth more than $100 billion, which also includes Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bernard Arnault and Bill Gates, Forbes magazine reported. The share price of his company Berkshire Hathaway reached a record level Wednesday, pushing his fortune to $100.3 billion — the first time that his net worth has crossed the $100 billion threshold. Buffett, 90, known as the […]

Cathay Pacific posts record loss, warns of long recovery

by Jerome TAYLOR HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific said Wednesday it suffered a record $2.8 billion loss last year as the coronavirus pandemic wiped out demand for travel — and the airline warned of a long road to recovery ahead. Chairman Patrick Healy described 2020 as the “most challenging” in the airline’s 70-year history and said much will now depend on how effective and widespread global vaccination programmes are. “It […]

Asia markets swing as rate hike fears offset reflation trade

HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Markets fluctuated in Asia on Tuesday as traders struggle to reconcile growing optimism about the global recovery and worries that the expected surge in economic activity will fan inflation and force central banks to hike interest rates sooner than expected. A rally inequities across the world over the past year has started to run out of steam in recent weeks, despite the prospect of a sharp rebound in growth as […]

Australia economy shrinks 1.1% in 2020

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Australia’s economy contracted 1.1 percent in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic took hold, but saw a remarkable recovery late in the year as outbreaks were brought under control and restrictions lifted. Official figures released Wednesday showed the economy grew 3.1 percent in the October-December quarter following a 3.4 percent increase in the previous quarter. The Australian Bureau of Statistics said it was the first time since records began 60 years ago […]

Zoom earnings strong at close of pandemic-plagued year

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — The Zoom video conferencing platform on Monday reported a strong finish to its fiscal year as revenue and use soared due to the pandemic. The quarterly earnings report came with a forecast by the company that it will grow some 40 percent in the current year despite the likelihood that vaccines will make remote work and school less of a necessity. Zoom video conferences have become a centerpiece of […]