Eurozone eyes growth :

PARIS: Economic indicators for the eurozone to be released this week are expected to show growth of 0.9 per cent in the second quarter, a pickup in industrial output and tamer inflation as a result of lower oil prices. It confirms the previous estimate that growth in the 12 nations sharing the euro accelerated to 0.9 per cent in the second quarter. Among the components of the eurozone’s GDP, private consumption growth may be revised upward from the previously estimated 0.3 per cent. — AFP

S Koreans optimistic :

SEOUL: Major South Korean companies expect business conditions to remain favorable for a second straight month in October. The index for October was 103.5, compared with 107.7 in September, but the reading stayed above 100 for a second straight month. A reading above 100 indicates most firms expect the overall business environment and economy to improve from previous month. — AP

Thai property market :

BANGKOK: Thailand’s booming property market is cooling off this year, with analysts expecting sales to remain flat due to rising interest rates and a general slowdown in the economy. Despite strong demand for downtown condos in Bangkok and resort properties, the overall market slumped by 4.5 per cent in the seven months to July. Analysts said last month’s coup could actually improve the situation in the last quarter of 2006, by ending the political turmoil that gripped the country all year. — AFP

Sugar shortage hits :

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has launched an all-out campaign to overcome a severe sugar shortage as it embarks on a long festive season kicked off by Ramadan, mobilising the navy and opening a 24-hour hotline to contain public outrage. Store-imposed rationing, scrounging around shops for sugar and panic-buying have become familiar activities in recent months. — AFP

Rice output to decline :

MADHYAPUR: The rice production in Bhaktapur district could decrease by 25 per cent because of the spreading blight in paddy fields. Crops Preservation Officer of the District Agriculture Development Office, Bhaktapur Dinesh Babu Tiwari said, “Paddy fields have been greatly affected by blight in some parts of Madhyapur Thimi and other VDCs like Balkot,

Sirutar, Gundu, Sipadol, Chhaling and Duwakot. It will affect the total production.” the office has organised various trainings and distributed pesticides to control the disease. — RSS

Govt support sought :

KALAIYA: President of the Federation of Nepal Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI), Chandi Raj Dhakal said that industries are on the verge of liquidation as the business and industries could not get free and competitive environment. Addressing a gathering here, he said that the recent activities like extortions, abductions and murder have hit the business sector even after the restoration of Loktantra. He noted that the government and the Maoists were not serious about the problems faced by entrepreneurs. “Instead, they are turning deaf ear to labour-strike, extortions and abductions,” he complained. — RSS

AirAsia’s new plan :

KUALA LUMPUR: The head of Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia on Sunday ruled out establishing a budget long-haul airline and labelled as ‘preposterous’ a report flagging the move. AirAsia’s Group CEO Tony Fernandes scotched a report that the carrier’s management team was behind the new airline and would submit a business plan to the government. The

Edge financial weekly reported that AirAsia planned to launch the budget long-haul operator by early next year. — AFP