US economy wobbles


Hurricane Katrina has knocked the US economy for a loop, and whether it revives or slips into recession depends on whether nervous consumers are willing to spend more. New figures showed the storm caused incomes to fall in August, reflecting $100 billion in losses by people who didn’t have adequate insurance to cover damage to homes, businesses and vehicles. — AP

Malaysia spends more


Malaysia will spend more next year on development projects to boost economic growth, the prime minister revealed in the new budget, fut warned severe belt-tightening was needed to meet rocketing fuel bills. “I am confident that we can become a truly developed nation, if we are committed,” said prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. — AP

Record business


Indian participants at the annual South African business expo (SAITEX-South African International Trade Exposition) have registered a record business of $35 million during the three-day long meet. There was a substantial increase in not only the number of participants, but also in enquiries received from business representatives of South Africa as well as other countries that participated. — HNS

Urge to bring change

New Delhi:

Indian finance minister P Chidambaram has appealed to corporates to take interest in the agricultural sector and suggest a framework for its reform and growth. Speaking at the ‘CNBC India Business Leader Award’ ceremony on Saturday, the minister said that after reviewing the first quarter economic growth of the current fiscal, he felt bad that the agriculture sector has not being doing well. — HNS

NICL to give dividend


Nepal Insurance Company Ltd (NICL) has decided to distribute 30 per cent bonus share of paid up capital and 10 per cent cash dividend to its shareholders, during the 56th annual general meeting held on Sunday under the chairmanship of company chairman Bhagat Bista. The company sold premium worth Rs 187.53 million during the fiscal year 2004-05, which is an increase by 12.42 per cent against last year. The meeting also endorsed to re-appoint Prabhu Ram Bhandari as company’s auditor for the next year, too. — HNS

Rudraksha incense


Prashanti Fragrance Pvt Ltd has launched its premium brand ‘Rudraksha’ incense in a new pack and fragrance in the market. A pack of incense containing 18 sticks is priced at Rs 5 and also can be purchased through The new fragrance is of jasmine flower, states a press release issued. — HNS

‘Reduce interest rate’


Local entrepreneurs have urged the banks to reduce sharp interest rate due to the critical situation of the country. At a programme organised by Rupandehi Industries’ Association, they complained about the confusing industrial policy, huge interest rate and extortion by the terrorists, which they said has hit the business. — RSS