UK car registrations

LONDON: British new car registrations in June rose by 12.9 per cent year-on-year to 257,817 vehicles, which marked the best half-year performance on record, an industry body said on Monday. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said the increase meant sales were up by seven per cent in the first six months of the year, although it expected slower growth later this year. The SMMT said low interest rates, attractive finance deals and a wealth of new models had encouraged consumers to buy new cars. “(It) is encouraging to see more consumers choosing British models. This is important for the wider economy with 799,000 people now employed across UK automotive sector,” said SMMT CEO Mike Hawes.

Tanzania petro Bill

DAR ES SALAAM: Tanzanian lawmakers have passed a new Petroleum Bill that creates a regulatory and legal framework to manage discoveries and control of the East African nation’s natural gas reserves and possible future oil finds, officials said. Tanzania has an estimated 55.1 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves, the second-largest in the region after Mozambique, and the new law is aimed at speeding up the development of the sector. It was passed late on Sunday amid stiff opposition and days of debate. Some 40 opposition lawmakers were suspended from parliament after disrupting sessions on Saturday, complaining that the law was being rushed through after inadequate consultation.

RR profit forecasts

LONDON: British engineer Rolls-Royce (RR) cut profit expectations for the third time in nine months on Monday, increasing the challenge for its new chief executive. Shares in the 131-year-old company dropped as much as 10 per cent after it also scrapped a plan to buy back £1 billion ($1.6 billion) of shares halfway through the programme. Rolls-Royce has been struggling for some time with a drop in demand from energy customers for its marine equipment following a plunge in oil prices. But the firm said on Monday its aircraft engine business was also suffering during a switch from its Trent 700 engine to the newer Trent 7000, with fewer of the legacy engines being sold than anticipated.

Waze’s carpooling

JERUSALEM: Google-owned online mapping company Waze is launching a carpooling pilot programme in Israel where commuters pay fellow drivers a small fee for a ride to and from work. The new application, called RideWith, will use Waze’s navigation system to learn the routes drivers most frequently take to work and match them up with people looking for a ride in the same direction. Google bought Israel-based Waze, which uses satellite signals from members’ smartphones to offer real-time traffic information, for about $1 billion two years ago. Drivers will be limited to just two journeys a day and will not be able to earn a salary from RideWith, a source close to the company said, differentiating it from businesses such as Uber, where drivers can turn a profit.

Oreos getting thinner

NEW YORK: Oreos are getting a skinny new look, and its maker says the new cookie is a ‘sophisticated’ snack for grown-ups that isn’t meant to be twisted or dunked. Mondelez International Inc says it will add ‘Oreo Thins’ to its permanent lineup in the US starting next week. The cookies look like regular Oreos and have a similar cookie-to-filling ratio, except that they’re slimmer. That means four of the cookies contain 140 calories, compared with 160 calories for three regular Oreos. And since they are for adults, Oreo says they weren’t designed to be twisted open or dunked.