Oil prices to go up

SINGAPORE: Asia’s oil-guzzling economies are bracing themselves for the worst as crude prices threaten to hit $70 a barrel, stoking fears of slower growth, soaring inflation and rising interest rates. Oil prices surged to an all-time high of $67.10 a barrel and while they have since pulled back to around $64, prices remain volatile due to strong demand and tight supplies. — AFP

Eurozone data to rise

PARIS: Eurozone data to be released this week will show a slight increase in key business confidence indicators this month. Meanwhile, details on German GDP are expected to confirm that consumer spending fell in the second quarter, as in France. The Ifo business climate index and ZEW economic expectations index are both expected to post small gains. — AFP

Unions target W-Mart

WASHINGTON: A global coalition of unions is launching an unprecedented campaign to organise workers around the world at US retail giant Wal-Mart, seeking to bring a new level of globalisation to the labour movement. The Wal-Mart campaign was set to be officially launched at a meeting in Chicago of Union Network Internationala group that includes 900

unions in 140 states. — AFP

RBoS eyes China

LONDON: The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBoS) hopes its purchase of a shareholding in Bank of China will allow it to tap the booming Chinese market, seen as driving the global economy of the future, analysts have said. RBoS announced that it would lead a consortium to buy a 10 per cent stake in Bank of China for $3.1 billion alongside US investment bank Merrill Lynch and Hong Kong-based business tycoon Li Ka-Shing, who controls Hutchison Whampoa. — AFP

HK keeps eye on food

HONG KONG: Hong Kong has stepped up checks on eels and wet markets following the discovery that 90 per cent of the fish and related products in the territory contained a banned suspected carcinogen. 26 out of 29 samples of eel and eel products tested were found to contain the industrial dye malachite green, a toxin widely used as a disinfectant on fish farms which has been shown to cause cancer in rats. — AFP

Tesco plans 20 stores

KUALA LUMPUR: The British Tesco supermarket giant plans to expand substantially in Malaysia, opening 20 more stores within the next five years. Tesco Stores Malaysia chief executive officer James Caan said the company would work closely with the government and relevant authorities to identify suitable locations, including in existing shopping malls. — AFP

MAKS Air show lures

ZHUKOVSKY: Some came to admire, others to scoff, but no one who showed up at the air show MAKS outside Moscow last week could escape one fact: Russia’s aerospace sector is drawing fresh interest from major global players as it launches ambitious restructuring plans. Kicking the annual event off, president Vladimir Putin reminded the world that Russia has long been regarded by experts as an aerospace leader, and underscored that products and services it offers today represent particularly good value for money. — AFP