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News In Brief

 

    China says it's clear who is right and wrong in trade row with U.S.

    Beijing: China’s foreign ministry said on Thursday flip-flopping by the United States on trade is well-recognised and it is clear who is right and who is wrong in an escalating trade row between the two countries.

    Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular briefing in Beijing that China has made the utmost efforts to avoid an escalation of trade frictions.

    (Reuters)

    Trump says he holds Putin personally responsible for election meddling

    Washington: President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he holds Russian President Vladimir Putin personally responsible for Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

    “Just like I consider myself to be responsible for things that happen in this country. So certainly as the leader of a country you would have to hold him responsible, yes,” Trump told CBS News in an interview.

    (Reuters)

    Ethiopia appoints ambassador to Eritrea - Fana TV

    Addis Ababa: Ethiopia has appointed its first ambassador to Eritrea in two decades, the latest sign of the Horn of Africa neighbours restoring relations a generation after a brutal border war, the state-affiliated Fana news agency said on Thursday.

    An online report from Fana said Redwan Hussien, formerly Ethiopian ambassador to Ireland, had become Addis Ababa’s representative in Asmara.

    (Reuters)

    SSE loses customers on pricing competition

    SSE Plc (SSE.L), Britain’s second-largest energy supplier, lost 320,000 customer accounts in the first quarter, hurt by competition from newer, smaller rivals. 

    Total customer accounts fell to 7.45 million as of June 30 from 7.77 million as of June end last year, the company said.Unusually warm weather and persistently high gas prices hurt adjusted operating profit by about 80 million pounds in the quarter, SSE said.

    (Reuters) 

    AO World on track after first quarter UK revenue grows 8 percent

    London: Online retailer AO World said its first-quarter revenue rose 8 percent in the UK reflecting a strong start to its year in April and May, although it said demand weakened in June. 

    The company, which sells domestic appliances like washing machines and ovens, said on Thursday that the result kept it on track to meet its expectations for the year.  It also said its newer European business was growing in line with its plan, with revenue in constant currency up 46 percent.

     (Reuters) 

    Babcock lowers full-year revenue outlook

    London: British engineer Babcock (BAB.L) lowered its full-year revenue growth target on Thursday due to a temporary slowdown in its defence and marine work. 

    Babcock, which provides specialist support and services to groups including Britain’s defence ministry, said it now expected to see low single digit underlying revenue growth for the full year, compared with a previous forecast of “low mid-single digit” growth.It reiterated its underlying earnings guidance.

    (Reuters) 

    Sweden's SKF second quarter profit beats forecast, sees higher demand in third quarter

    Stockholm: Sweden’s SKF (SKFb.ST), the world’s biggest maker of industrial bearings, reported a bigger than expected rise in quarterly operating earnings on Thursday and forecast higher year-on-year demand for the third quarter. 

    The Gothenburg-based company said second-quarter operating profit rose to 2.93 billion Swedish crowns ($330.67 million) from a year-ago 2.32 billion, beating a mean forecast of 2.76 billion in a poll of analysts.The rival of Germany’s Schaeffler (SHA_p.DE) reported organic sales growth of 9.0 percent in the quarter, higher than the 7.3 percent seen by analysts.

    (Reuters) 

    Syria negotiating to buy MS-21 airliners from Russia: RIA

    Moscow: Syria is in talks with Russia on buying Russia’s new MS-21 jet airliner, Russia’s ambassador to Syria Alexander Kinshak said on Wednesday, RIA state news agency reported.

    (Reuters) 

    Evacuation of two pro-Assad Syrian villages complete: Ikhbariya TV

    Beirut: The evacuation of all civilians from two loyalist Syrian villages that were besieged by rebels in the northwest is complete, Syria’s Ikhbariya television said on Thursday.

    Ikhbariya said all buses had left al-Foua and Kefraya by Thursday morning, making the two Shi’ite villages “empty of civilians”. More than 100 buses arrived on Wednesday to transport residents and fighters from the villages to nearby government-held territory in Aleppo province.

    (Reuters)

    Truckmaker AB Volvo's second-quarter profit tops forecast

    Stockholm: Truckmaker AB Volvo (VOLVb.ST) beat second-quarter profit expectations on the back of strong demand for both trucks and construction equipment on Thursday, but warned that the strong market would mean continued bottlenecks in the supply chain. 

    The Swedish group saw its operating profit jump to 12.3 billion Swedish crowns (£1.06 billion) from 8.4 billion a year ago, coming in well ahead of the 10.8 billion forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.AB Volvo, which makes trucks, construction equipment, buses and engines, maintained its previous forecasts for the truckmarkets in North America and Europe.

    (Reuters) 

    Skripal Novichok poisoning suspects identified: Press Association

    UK investigators believe they have identified the suspected perpetrators behind the Novichok attack on the Skripals, the Press Association reported on Thursday.

    Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were struck down with the Novichok poison in March. The Skripals subsequently recovered.

    (Reuters) 

    Thailand should not rush to raise interest rates: Finance minister

    Bangkok: Thailand should not rush to increase interest rates as inflation has just returned to the central bank’s target range, and any impact from a trade war is expected to be small, the finance minister said on Thursday. 

    Capital outflows and a weak baht THB=TH are good for the Thai economy, particularly the farm sector, Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong told reporters.  Thailand can withstand any impact as its economy is strong and the country has high international reserves, he said.  The central bank has left its policy rate THCBIR=ECI unchanged at 1.50 percent since April 2015. 

     (Reuters)

    Thai June export growth seen slowing to 9.5 percent year-on-year: Poll

    Bangkok: Thailand’s customs-cleared annual exports may have risen 9.50 percent in June, a Reuters poll showed, slowing from a 11.44 percent increase in the previous month.  Imports in June probably jumped 14.27 percent from a year earlier, after rising 11.72 percent in May, according to the poll. 

    Thailand likely recorded a trade surplus of $1.28 billion in June, after May’s $1.20 billion surplus.  Exports - the key driver of Thai growth - are expected to rise 9 percent this year, but a trade war is a risk, Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said last week  Last year, exports rose 9.9 percent.

     (Reuters)

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