Advertisement

BW Businessworld

Globescan: Ruled Out

US regulators announced a new recall of about 5 million vehicles with defective Takata Corp air bags, covering some automakers not previously affected by one of the biggest auto safety recalls in US history.

Photo Credit : Shutterstock, Shutterstock, Shutterstock,

The International Monetary Fund has abolished a rule created in 2010 that allowed it to participate in an international bailout of Greece despite doubts about the country’s debt sustainability. “Today the executive board of the IMF approved an important reform to the Fund’s exceptional access lending framework, including the removal of the systemic exemption,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said. The “systemic exemption” amounted to a loophole in the IMF’s longstanding policy that required the crisis lender to judge a member country’s public debt to be sustainable with “high probability” before it could provide financial assistance that exceeds a member’s contribution to the institution.

Bag Of Woes
US regulators announced a new recall of about 5 million vehicles with defective Takata Corp air bags, covering some automakers not previously affected by one of the biggest auto safety recalls in US history. The new action brings to 28 million the number of Takata air bag inflators recalled and increases the number of vehicles affected in the US to as many as 24 million. The recent move was prompted in part by the death of the driver of a Ford Motor Co Ranger pickup truck in December, as well as new tests conducted on suspected faulty air bags. Automakers affected for the first time include Volkswagen and its Audi unit, Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz unit and Saab. Other automakers taking part in the recall include Ford, Honda Motor, Mazda Motor and BMW.

A Quiet Churn
Twitter is losing at least three top executives, in a major shakeup at the social network, reports have said. Those departing the company include Alex Roetter, the head of engineering; Kevin Weil, product chief, and Katie Stanton, the head of media, a tech news Website reported. This represents a third of the executive team listed on the Twitter site next to chief executive and co-founder Jack Dorsey. Twitter is planning to bring two new board members soon, at least one of whom was a high-profile executive in the media industry. The Website newspaper reported that as a condition of returning as chief executive last year, Dorsey had told Twitter that all board members must eventually be replaced. The panel includes co-founder Evan Williams, one of the largest individual owners of the company’s stock.

Going After Gas
China’s capital will earmark $2.57 billion this year to improve air quality in one of the world’s most polluted city, authorities said. The funds will be used to cut back on coal use and eliminate outmoded vehicles in the capital. Beijing has over 5.6 million registered vehicles. The city has also enforced an odd-even plate number restrictions during severe smog and also for big international events such as the 2008 Olympics and the APEC summit in 2014 to cut down on emissions. The average density of PM2.5, airborne particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter, in Beijing last year declined by 6.2 per cent year on year, statistics with the Beijing Environment Protection Bureau show.

With Love From China
China and Iran mapped out a wide-ranging 25-year plan to broaden relations and expand trade during the first visit by a Chinese leader to the Islamic republic in 14 years. President Xi Jinping met with his counterpart Hassan Rouhani, a week after the lifting of international sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme. The Chinese leader is the first head of state of the six-country bloc that negotiated the historic deal to visit Iran. Rouhani said the meeting marked “the beginning of an important era” in Iran-China relations, the official reported.

Going After Gas
China’s capital will earmark $2.57 billion this year to improve air quality in one of the world’s most polluted city, authorities said. The funds will be used to cut back on coal use and eliminate outmoded vehicles in the capital. Beijing has over 5.6 million registered vehicles. The city has also enforced an odd-even plate number restrictions during severe smog and also for big international events such as the 2008 Olympics and the APEC summit in 2014 to cut down on emissions. The average density of PM2.5, airborne particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter, in Beijing last year declined by 6.2 per cent year on year, statistics with the Beijing Environment Protection Bureau show.

Watch List
Bulgari is investing more than ever in China, aiming to tap into the growing reluctance of Chinese shoppers to buy abroad due to security fears, stricter customs checks and a devaluation of its currency. The world’s third-largest watch and jewellery brand — part of LVMH — plans to open two boutiques in mainland China this year, Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin said.

Realty Check
Mortgage lending is a major source of difficulty for euro zone banks but macroprudential measures have so far prevented adverse developments, the head of the euro zone’s banking regulator said. Ultra-low interest rates across the euro zone have increased the chance that asset bubbles will be formed and the European Central Bank (ECB) has already warned that commercial real estate has become overpriced. “A possible source of difficulties for banks are real estate mortgages,” Daniele Nouy, head of the ECB said. “We have so far not seen any adverse developments in 2015,” he said.

Open Secret
Volkswagen’s development of software to cheat diesel-emissions tests was an open secret in its engine development department, a German newspaper said, citing results from VW’s internal investigation. Many managers and staff dealing with emissions problems in the department knew of or were involved in developing the “defeat devices”, said the newspaper, which researched the matter with regional broadcasters NDR and WDR. A culture of collective secrecy prevailed within the department, where the installation of the defeat software that would cause the carmaker’s biggest ever corporate crisis was openly discussed as long ago as 2006, Sueddeutsche said.

Wider Search
Facebook will construct a data centre facility at Ireland’s Clonee village that will become part of the infrastructure that enables billions of people connect on the social networking platform, Messenger, Instagram and more, the social networking giant announced. “Clonee, County Meath, will be the site for our newest data center. The Clonee data center will be our first in Ireland and follows Lulea, in Sweden, as our second in Europe,” Tom Furlong, vice president (infrastructure), said. The 227-acre site will be packed full of cutting-edge technology, making it one of the most advanced, efficient and sustainable data centres in the world. The Clonee data centre will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy thanks to Ireland’s robust wind resources.

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 08-02-2016)



Advertisement