ECB repeats warning on inflation The European Central Bank warned yesterday that inflation would stay clearly above its target for longer than expected. Bank policymakers are worried that excessive increases in wages and the price of some products could create longer-term inflation that would be hard to bring under control. They believe the bank's monetary policy "will contribute to achieving the ECB's objective" of price stability over the medium term.
FRANKFURT - Agence France-Presse
UK house prices fall again in May
Barratt Developments yesterday reported a 43 percent drop in sales of private homes in the first half of the calendar year, and said it expects to lay off 1,200 employees. Barratt, the fifth major British home builder this month to report a drastic drop in demand, said total completions fell 13.8 percent in the year ending June 30 on a like-for-like basis, with private completions down 18.4 percent.
LONDON - The Associated Press
Jordan hikes fuel prices
Jordan has hiked fuel prices for the 10th time in two years to cover its swelling energy costs. The rise comes as the oil-barren Mideast kingdom struggles with soaring international oil and food prices. Yesterday's hike is the sixth this year. It brings the price of one liter of unleaded gasoline up about 5 U.S. cents, from 0.805 Jordanian dinars, or about $1.13, to JD 0.840, or about $1.18.
AMMAN - The Associated Press
Novartis to buy Speedel for $880 mln
Novartis says it has acquired a majority of shares in Swiss pharmaceutical maker Speedel Holding and intends to buy the remaining stake. Novartis says it purchased 51.7 percent of Speedel's shares Wednesday, bringing its current stake in the company to 61.4 percent. The company plans to acquire the remaining shares of Speedel through a mandatory public tender offer.
BASEL - The Associated Press
Siemens to cut jobs at management level
Siemens CEO Peter Loescher has reiterated that the bulk of the jobs to be cut by the conlgomerate would focus on managers and not regular workers. Speaking to reporters Wednesday night, Loescher said Siemens plans to reduce the 2,300 managers it has in Germany by about 8 percent and the number of middle-level managers by about 4 percent from the current 23,000.
MUNICH - The Associated Press
NowPublic buys rumor Web site
"Citizen journalism" Web site NowPublic announced yesterday it has bought news-and-rumors website Truemors for an undisclosed amount. The deal expands the news coverage of the Vancouver-based NowPublic, which puts onto its Web site news and events recorded by eyewitnesses using their own digital cameras and even mobile phones.
SAN FRANCISCO - Agence France-Presse