HK banks profits slow

HONG KONG: First-half earnings reports of Hong Kong banks, starting with Hang Seng Bank Ltd on Monday, are likely to show slower profit growth — in some cases markedly — on a raft of factors led by margin pressures. But luckily for investors it won’t be all bad news. — AP

US economy looks up

WASHINGTON: The economy is holding up well despite high energy prices. Economic activity expanded at an energetic 3.4 per cent clip in the second quarter as consumers and businesses showed they were still in the mood to spend. The latest snapshot, released by the commerce department, offered fresh evidence that the economy had recuperated after a brief slip in the early spring and possesses good momentum heading into the second half of the year. — AP

Indonesia eyes FIs

JAKARTA: Indonesia will hold a business forum in London and New York in September in an effort to attract more foreign investment (FI) into the country. The Indonesia Global Investment Forum will update foreign businesses on Indonesia’s economic outlook and highlight president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s plans for developing the country’s economy and infrastructure. — AP

HPMC-ITC ink deal

SHIMLA: Blue chip company ITC Ltd is among two firms that have tied up with a major public sector unit of Himachal Pradesh to tap new markets for the luscious apples of the hill state. “ITC Bangalore and Central Warehousing Cold Chain (CWCL) will be jointly helping Himachal Pradesh Horticultural Processing & Marketing Corporation (HPMC) to find new markets starting this current harvest,” said HPMC MD CRB Lalit. — HNS

Petrol, diesel prices up

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia increased the retail prices of petrol and diesel by up to 18 per cent on Sunday in an attempt to rein in government subsidies amid soaring global oil prices. The hike — the third this year- will help the government save $254.95 million in subsidies. Despite the increase, fuel prices in Malaysia remain among the cheapest in Southeast Asia, kept artificially low through enormous subsidies. — AP