BoE holds rates
LONDON: The Bank of England (BoE) has left interest rates at a record low of 0.5 per cent as the current turmoil in Greece underscored the wariness about the strength of the economic recovery. Policymakers were facing little pressure to raise rates. Inflation remains subdued at 0.1 per cent, well below the target of two per cent. Howard Archer, chief European economist at IHS Global Insight, says policymakers want to wait to see how the European Union deals with the problems of Greece — and to see how badly the rest of the eurozone could be hit. The bank also refrained on Thursday from pumping more money into the economy, leaving its asset purchases at £375 billion.
IBM unveils 7nm chip
NEW YORK: IBM on Thursday unveiled a powerful new chip which the company says could boost computing power of ‘everything from smartphones to spacecraft’. The company unveiled the industry’s first seven-nanometre chip that could hold more than 20 billion tiny switches or transistors for improved computing power. The new chips could help meet demands of future cloud computing and Big Data systems, cognitive computing, mobile products and other emerging technologies, as per IBM, which developed the chip as part of a $3 billion research effort with Samsung and GlobalFoundries.
Kaesong wage row
SEOUL: North Korea has agreed to hold talks with the South over a protracted wage dispute at the Kaesong joint industrial zone, Yonhap news agency reported on Thursday. The North had accepted an offer to hold talks next Thursday, it said, citing the unification ministry in Seoul. The two sides have been mired in a months-long row over wages at the Kaesong estate, just 10 kilometres over the border in North Korea, with Pyongyang insisting on unilaterally imposing a pay rise for its workers. Seoul had insisted that any wage change must be a joint decision. The industrial estate, a joint enterprise between Pyongyang and Seoul, hosts around 120 South Korean firms employing some 53,000 North Korean workers.
Honda expands recall
TOKYO: The recalls at Honda Motor Co over defective Takata airbags have grown by another 4.5 million vehicles, raising the tally at the Japanese automaker to 24.5 million. Tokyo-based Honda said on Thursday the latest recall affects 1.63 million vehicles in Japan, but none in North America. It declined to give a regional breakdown until regulators in affected nations were notified. The recall spans 17 models, including the Fit subcompact, Stream minivan and CR-V sport utility vehicle. The recall is for the problem announced previously with airbag inflators on the driver’s side that can kick in with too much force.