South Korea

Won’s strength hurts Hyundai

Hyundai Motor’s net profit for the first quarter declined due to a strengthening won, the South Korean car maker said on Wednesday. Net profit retreated 2.9 percent to 2.03 trillion won (R20.6 billion) in the quarter to March from 2.09 trillion won a year earlier, the company said. Revenue was up 1.3 percent to 21.65 trillion won. Exports from Asia’s fourth-largest economy have been hit as the won trades at six-year highs. Hyundai and Kia Motors make up the fifth-largest car maker, which expects record sales of 7.9 million units this year, up 4.5 percent from last year. – Sapa-dpa


Fixed inflation target mooted

Kenya would start targeting inflation to make its monetary policy more predictable and efficient, Finance Minister Henry Rotich said yesterday. The country allows itself a margin of 2.5 percentage points around a targeted medium-term inflation rate of 5 percent. Rotich said talks had been held on moving towards targeting a fixed inflation rate to allow policymakers to tailor policy more closely to meeting the desired rate. Annual inflation was 6.27 percent last month, down from nearly 20 percent at the end of 2011. – Reuters


Raytheon posts 6.3% sales slide

Raytheon’s first-quarter sales declined 6.3 percent, reflecting a slowdown in the federal marketplace, the largest missile maker reported yesterday. Raytheon was the last of the top five US government contractors to release quarterly earnings this week, and it had the biggest drop in revenue. Sales fell to $5.51 billion (R58.4bn), with decreases in all four of its divisions. – Bloomberg