Business Irish

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Eurozone jobless rate stays at record high with 19.2m affected

employment

EUROzone unemployment was unchanged at a record high for the eighth month in a row in November, new data has shown. The jobless rate in the 17 countries using the euro stood at 12.1pc with 19.2m people without work. Unemployment among those younger than 25 was steady at 24.2pc for the second consecutive month.

But eurozone retail sales, a proxy for consumer demand, rebounded 1.4pc in November after a 0.4pc decline in October, showing the fastest monthly increase since November 2001. Compared to November 2012 this was the strongest monthly rise since February 2008. The expansion was led by a 1.9pc rise in the volume of sales of all non-food products, except car fuels.

In Portugal and Spain sales continued to improve in November with the volume rising 3.1pc on the month, the strongest in entire eurozone, and 1.9pc respectively.

ASTRAZENECA INKS DEAL WITH IMMUNOCARE

PHARMACEUTICAL

ASTRAZENECA, the multinational drug company which employs 60 people in Ireland, has signed a deal with private British biotech business Immunocore to boost its experimental cancer drug pipeline as it seeks to find new medicines to replace those going off patent. Immunocore is developing drugs that exploit the power of the body's own immune system to find and kill diseased cells.

AstraZeneca said it would pay $20m (€14.7m) upfront per drug programme and the biotech firm would then be eligible to get up to $300m in development and commercial milestone payments for each target programme, plus royalties on any eventual sales.

AstraZeneca already has other immune-centered therapies in clinical development and its decision to place a further bet on early research reflects its determination to compete with companies like Roche and MSD in a hot area of research.

MAJOR RETAILERS CALL FOR TALKS ON CAMBODIA STRIKE

CLOTHING

CLOTHES makers including Gap, H&M and Zara parent Inditex have called on Cambodia's government, its garment industry and unions to hold talks after a strike over workers' pay led to deadly clashes. The government and labour unions should engage in negotiations and support a new wage-review mechanism to avoid future violence, the retailers said in an open letter yesterday. Adidas, Puma, Levi and Columbia Sportswear also signed the letter. All are major buyers in the Cambodian textiles market.

At least three people were killed when police used live ammunition to crush a protest by striking garment workers in Phnom Penh this week.

The protesters were part of a nationwide strike by garment workers demanding a doubling of the minimum wage to $160 a month, while the government offered $100.

CHINA-BUILT CARS POISED FOR US SHOWROOM DEBUT

AUTOMOTIVE

BYD, the Chinese automaker backed by Warren Buffett's investment group Berkshire Hathaway, said Chinese cars are poised to begin hitting US showrooms by next year. BYD plans to introduce about four models for its US debut at the end of 2015, said Stella Li, the senior vice president in charge of the company's US business.

The company's ambitions, echoed by rivals from Geely Automobile to Great Wall Motor, show how the Chinese are seeking to shake up the US car market as the Japanese and South Koreans did decades earlier. "Entering the US market carries more symbolic meaning to brand building than actually boosting its bottom line," said Han Weiqi, a Shangai-based analyst.

TYCOON STALLS BID TO BUY NEW YORK TIMES

MEDIA

CHINESE recycling tycoon Chen Guangbiao has dialled back his plans to buy the 'New York Times' just over a week after making his intentions public. "The level of difficulty is great," he said through a translator. Chen, said that he still covets the newspaper but hopes to find an American entrepreneur to partner with to make the purchase.

The Ochs-Sulzberger family, which has owned the 'New York Times' for more than 100 years, controls the company through a trust of Class B shares with special voting rights. The company which publishes the namesake newspaper has a market value of $2.3bn (€1.69bn). Chen, who has been mulling a bid for the prestigious newspaper for the past two years, said last week he thinks it is worth $1bn. The Sulzberger family said recently the Times is not for sale.

Irish Independent

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