It is shaping up to be a bad year for Britain’s car industry. In the latest blow, Honda decided to close its plant in Swindon in 2021, putting 3,500 jobs at risk. It is the first time the Japanese carmaker has closed one of its factories (it is also stopping production of one of its models at a facility in Turkey). Honda said it was accelerating its commitment to electric cars, and stressed that Brexit was not a factor in its calculation to shut up shop. Many observers think otherwise.
Flybmi was less shy about blaming Brexit for its troubles. The British regional airline called in the administrators amid rising fuel and carbon prices, but was explicit about the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, which caused it difficulties securing valuable flying contracts in Europe.
The European Union threatened to react in a “swift and adequate manner” if America imposes additional tariffs on European car imports. America’s Commerce Department recently submitted a document to Donald Trump that reportedly recommends levying duties on European cars on the ground that damage to America’s car industry is a threat to national security. The president has 90 days to decide whether to act.
The decision by India’s central bank to increase the interim dividend it pays to the government raised more questions about its political independence. The payment will help the government meet its fiscal targets ahead of the forthcoming election.
Anil Ambani, one of India’s most prominent businessmen, was found guilty of contempt of court by the country’s supreme court for not paying Ericsson, a Swedish network-equipment company, for work it carried out at Reliance Communications. Mr Ambani founded Reliance, which recently filed for bankruptcy. The court said Mr Ambani would be sent to prison if he didn’t pay, prompting Reliance to promise to comply.
印度最著名富商安尼尔·安巴尼(Anil Ambani)被印度最高法院裁定犯有藐视法庭罪，原因是他没有向瑞典网络设备公司爱立信(Ericsson)支付在信实通信(Reliance Communications)的工作费用。安巴尼创办了信实集团，该公司最近申请破产。法院表示，如果安巴尼不付款，他将被送进监狱，以此施压信实集团承诺解决债务问题。
The nosedive in financial markets towards the end of last year led HSBC to report a lower annual profit than had been expected. The bank announced net income of $12.6bn. That was below analysts’ forecasts of $13.7bn, which John Flint, the chief executive, ascribed to being “very much a fourth-quarter problem”.