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Updated: Nov 13 2012, 10:03am hrs
OECD sees China, US outlook stabilising

The economic outlook remains poor for major economies though there are growing signs of stabilisation in Canada, China and the US, the OECD said on Monday. In its latest monthly report on the global economy, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said its composite leading indicator for the 33-nation OECD held steady in September at 100.2 for the third month in a row. The reading for the US rose marginally to 100.9 from 100.8 in August, which the OECD said was indicative of growth stabilising in the worlds biggest economy. Chinas reading was steady at 99.4 for the fourth month in a row while Canadas was also unchanged at 99.7.

North Korea has serious food shortages: UN

North Korea increased its staple foods production for the second year in a row but its citizens are still suffering from a serious lack of key proteins and fats in their diets, a UN report said Monday. A UN team visited all nine agricultural provinces of the communist state in September and October during the main cereal harvest and estimated that even with the increase a 10% improvement over last year North Korea will need to import 507,000 metric tons of cereals to meet its basic food needs. North Korea has struggled for decades to feed its 24 million people.

Standard Life blasts Xstrata pay plan

Standard Life Investments, one of the 10 largest shareholders in Xstrata, is to vote against a pay plan tied to the miners $33 billion takeover by commodities trader Glencore, arguing the plan is unnecessarily greedy. In a radio interview, David Cumming, head of equities at SLI which owns around 1.5% of Xstrata, said he supported the Glencore deal but would block plans to offer Xstrata executives golden handcuffs worth many millions of pounds. I do think that incentive package should be voted down. I think it is unnecessary and, to be honest, I think it is a combination of a rather rapacious management team and a weak board, Cumming told BBC on Monday.

Emirates profit rebounds amid expanding fleet

The parent company of Dubai-based carrier Emirates said Monday that operating profit for the first half of the year surged by more than 63% as the Middle Easts biggest airline expanded routes and benefited from stabilizing fuel prices. Emirates Group said operating profit rose to 2.37 billion dirhams ($645.7 million) for the first half of 2012 compared to 1.449 billion dirhams ($394.8 million) in the same period last year.The 63.6% jump is a strong rebound after a sharp drop in profit for the fiscal year ending March 31 due to rising fuel costs.

Toyota tests system for smart cars

Toyota Motor is testing car safety systems that allow vehicles to communicate with each other and with the roads they are on in a just completed facility in Japan the size of three baseball stadiums. The cars at the Intelligent Transport System site receive information from sensors and transmitters installed on the streets to minimize the risk of accidents in situations such as missing a red traffic light, cars advancing from blind spots and pedestrians crossing the street. The system also tests cars that transmit such information to each other.