The Qantas Group on Wednesday announced that its annual profit tumbled 87 percent. Australia’s largest air carrier reports its full year pre-tax profits fell to US$150 million The carrier — which operates its flagship Qantas as well as discount airline Jetstar — says its bottom line was hit by falling demand for air travel during the global recession. Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce, said the diversity of the company’s operations had contributed to its being one of the few airline operators worldwide to produce a full-year profit, despite the global economic downturn, according to a company statement
China can expect 7.2 percent growth in 2009, according to the World Bank, which says the country’s fiscal policies in the face of a global financial slowdown have kept the Chinese economy "growing respectably." The 7.2 percent projection for the nation’s gross domestic product — a basic measure of an economy’s performance — follows China’s November announcement that it would inject $585 billion (4 trillion yuan) into its economy to offset declines in industrial and export growth. The projection is also an upward revision of the 6.5 percent growth forecast by the World Bank in March, a forecast that was a full percentage point down from an earlier November projection. “China can have the confidence to focus on forward-looking policies and structural reforms,” said senior economist Louis Kuijs, the main author of the World Bank’s China Quarterly Update, released on Thursday.
British bank Lloyds has announced that HBOS, the rival it took over last year, made a £10.8 billion ($15.5 billion) pre-tax loss for 2008. Lloyds itself posted an 80 percent plunge in pre-tax profit to £807 million ($1.1 billion), which was in line with figures released in a trading update earlier this month.
Singapore’s economy shrank by 4.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said Thursday, as it forecast the economy would contract between 2 and 5 percent this year. Compared to a robust growth of 7.8 percent a year earlier, the economy grew by 1.1 percent for the whole of 2008, the ministry added