Euro-area exports fall in Sept as economy shrinks
Euro-area exports fell in September as the region’s economy slipped into a recession for the second time in four years. Exports from the 17-nation currency bloc declined a seasonally adjusted 1.1% from August, when they gained 3.3%, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. Imports dropped 2.7% and the trade surplus widened to 11.3 billion euros ($14.4 billion) from a revised 8.9 billion euros in the previous month. The sovereign debt crisis in the euro area is taking its toll as governments impose budget cuts to narrow their fiscal deficits. GDP in the monetary union fell 0.1% in the third quarter after a 0.2% decline in the previous three months. Greece’s economy has contracted for 17 straight quarters and the Portuguese economy completed its second year of quarterly contractions.
Kirin follows Heineken with $2.2-billion bid
Kirin Holdings Co, Japan’s largest drinks maker, may pay S$2.7 billion ($2.2 billion) to expand in Southeast Asia, following brewers Anheuser-Busch InBev and Heineken NV as they buy into emerging-market growth. Kirin is seeking to acquire Fraser & Neave Ltd’s food and beverages unit as part of a proposed takeover of the Singapore- based company by a group led by Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd. The OUE group offered S$13.1 billion for F&N yesterday, topping a bid from Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, and said Kirin will buy the food and beverage unit. Shares of Kirin fell the most in a month today on concern whether the investment will pay off. The Tokyo-based company, which generates a higher percentage of sales from overseas than any other Japanese drinks maker with revenue exceeding $1 billion, is seeking further expansion abroad as demand weakens at home and growth at its Australian unit stutters.
Man Group sells Lehman exposure for $456 million
Hedge fund manager Man Group is selling off its legal claims to the estates of defunct US investment bank Lehman Brothers in a $456-million deal that will boost its net cash position and capture attractive gains for investors. Hutchinson Investors, managed by the Baupost Group, has agreed to buy the portfolio at