Business this week
The eurozone economy recorded zero growth in the second quarter. It had been expected to grow, if barely, but was dragged down by worse than expected GDP data from Germany and France. Germany's economy contracted by 0.2% as its export industry struggled. France chalked up a second straight quarter of zero growth. The stagnant economy means that France's Socialist government is likely to miss its budget deficit target, again.
China reported a record monthly trade surplus, of 47.3 billion for July. Exports to America grew by 12.3%, and those to Europe by 17%, compared with July 2013.
An increase in Japan's sales tax on April 1st was blamed for the biggest contraction in its economy since the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. GDP fell by 6.8% at an annual rate in the second quarter, offsetting the bump in demand in the first quarter as consumers brought forward purchases to beat the tax rise. The tax is scheduled to increase again, from 8% to 10%, in October next year.
Assessing the impact
Russia's central bank said it would have to tear up its previous economic forecasts because of uncertainty about the impact of sanctions imposed over the conflict in Ukraine. It will present an updated outlook next month.
Oil prices continued to fall despite heightened tensions in the Middle East and Russia. Brent dipped to a 13-month low. Oil markets, which the International Energy Agency described as “eerily calm in the face of mounting geopolitical risks”, have been quiet because the increase in American and OPEC production has led to a glut in supply. Worldwide demand for oil has also eased slightly.
Shale of the century
Kinder Morgan, the biggest fuel-pipeline operator in America, laid out a plan to consolidate four partnerships it controls in a 44 billion buy-out. Formed in 1997 through assets acquired from Enron, Kinder Morgan has been buoyed by America's shale boom. The consolidation of its various units into one publicly traded company will make it the biggest energy firm in America after Exxon Mobil and Chevron.
美洲最大的燃料管道经营者Kinder Morgan发布计划，试图通过一项价值440亿美元的收购联合其控股的四家合伙企业。Kinder Morgan,的资产最初来源于安然，如今借着页岩气的东风扶摇直上。此次联合行为将使Morgan麾下的上市公司成为美洲仅次于埃克森·美孚的能源企业。
Malaysia's sovereignwealth fund moved to nationalise Malaysia Airlines by buying out the stricken carrier's minority shareholders. Squeezed by lowcost competitors it had been losing money for years, long before the recent disasters of one plane disappearing en route to Beijing and another being shot down over Ukraine. But the plan to take it under full state control has been criticised by some, including Mahathir Mohamad, a former prime minister.
A court in Shanghai sentenced a British corporate investigator working in China and his American business partner to prison for breaking privacy laws by collecting information about individuals. Peter Humphrey and Yu Yingzeng were two of the best known corporatefraud experts in China and were at one time employed by GlaxoSmithKline. They were arrested soon after Chinese authorities accused the drug company of bribing doctors and hospitals.
The planned merger of Chiquita and Fyffes to create the world's biggest banana distributor was challenged by a rival joint bid for Fyffes from Cutrale, Brazil's biggest supplier of oranges, and the Safra Group, controlled by Joseph Safra, Brazil's second-richest man. The merger was one of the first tax-inversion deals to be announced this year, with Chiquita hoping to relocate from America to Ireland, where Fyffes has its headquarters.
Chiquita 与Fyffes 计划合并以组建全球最大的香蕉经销商，但Cutrale与Safra集团联合向Fyffes 提出报价。此次并购名列今年公布的第一批税收反转交易，Chiquita希望借此机会从美国搬迁至爱尔兰，后者正是Fyffes总部所在地。
Tata Motors of India launched its first new model in four years. It thinks the Zest, priced at 7,500, will reclaim some of the market for compact cars in India that it has lost to Japanese and South Korean rivals.
A federal judge in California rejected a proposed settlement between four big Silicon Valley companies and former employees in a case that alleges that the four colluded in hiring staff, to keep wages down. The judge said that the four—Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe—had taken part in an “overarching conspiracy” to make sure they did not offer positions to each other's staff, and suggested that the value of the settlement should be raised to at least 380m.
A privateequity bidding war broke out for Treasury Wine Estates in Australia, one of the world's biggest wine companies. Treasury traces its roots back to the establishment of the Lindeman's label in New South Wales in 1843. It also owns the Beringer vineyard in the Napa Valley in California, as well as other familiar supermarket brands, such as Wolf Blass and Penfolds.
1.likely to 可能
Noticing that there was likely to be trouble, the coward sneaked away.
If you gallop through your work, you are more likely to make mistakes.
2.compare with 与…相比较
How does your bike compare with mine?
How do they compare with our alternatives?
3.blame for 责备；因…责备
Not you but he is to blame for it.
Does any of this matter? Why should we be concerned about the effort to shift the blame for bad policies onto the general public?
4.tear up 撕毁；撕碎
He tore up the letter after reading it.
They soon tore up the trade agreement.