AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
BEIJING: Chinese premier Wen Jiabao vowed proactive policies to make growth a bigger priority, as the world’s second largest economy showed signs of weakness, state press reported on Sunday. Wen made the comments during a visit to central China’s Wuhan city, Xinhua news agency said, days after a slew of bleak data for April prompted fears China’s economy is cooling faster than previously thought. “We should continue to implement a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy, while giving more priority to maintaining growth,” Wen said, reiterating standard rhetoric on managing China’s economy. Concerns over China’s slowing growth have intensified after weak economic data for April was
released last week. Growth in industrial production, imports, exports, fixed-asset investment and bank lending all slowed in April.
KDI trims forecast
SEOUL: South Korea’s state-run think tank Sunday cut the nation’s growth forecast for this year to 3.6 per cent from 3.8 per cent estimated in November, citing weakening demand amid a global slowdown. The Korea Development Institute (KDI), in its twice-yearly economic forecast report, said however the global economy would likely pick up pace in 2013 to help Asia’s fourth-largest economy to expand by 4.1 per cent that year. “The local economy has been slowing from the second half of last year
as domestic and overseas demand wanes in the wake of uncertain global economic outlook,” KDI said. South Korea’s export-driven economy has recently been hit by sluggish demand from debt-hit Europe and its biggest trading partner China.
Swiss telecom probe
PARIS: Prosecutors in the Swiss canton of Geneva have charged three mobile phone company employees as part of a probe into illegal intelligence gathering, the Swiss ATS news agency reported on Sunday. Senior prosecutor Yves Bertossa said three employees of phone companies and a fourth person had been charged with violating the privacy of communications as part of an ongoing probe, without elaborating. According to Radio Television Switzerland, the employees of the three top Swiss mobile operators Swisscom, Orange and Sunrise had pocketed hundreds of thousands of Swiss francs over the past five years by selling call records to a private detective agency. —
FB resumes trading
SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook resumes trading on Wall Street on Monday with shares being closely watched to see how well they stand on their own after stumbling out of the gate in a historic but lacklustre debut. Second-guessing continued through the weekend as analysts and others debated whether the leading social network’s decision to price its initial public offering at $38 per share on Friday was overreaching or right on target. Shares briefly climbed above $42 before skittering back down and finishing at $38.23 with the help of underwriting banks that essentially put a floor under the stock by buying back shares when they dipped to the opening price.