RPT-BRIEF-Mikhail Fridman's fund L1 Retail to buy Holland & Barrett for 1.8 billion stg- FT
* Mikhail Fridman's fund lL Retail to buy Holland & Barrett for 1.8 billion stg- FT Source http://on.ft.com/2sQOafR
* 2012 industrial output declines 2.7 pct from 2011 * Dec industrial output falls 3.6 pct from year earlier * Capital goods decline sharply as investment lags By Asher Levine SAO PAULO, Feb 1 Brazilian industrial output failed to advance in December, posting 0.0 percent growth from November, capping a year in which manufacturing slumped despite government efforts to stimulate its revival. Output from Brazilian factories and mines contracted 3.6 percent in December from a year earlier, government statistics agency IBGE said on Friday, better than the 4.7 percent decline forecast in a Reuters survey. The data follows a 1.1 percent year-over-year contraction in November, revised down from a previously-reported 1 percent on Friday. With December's data, industrial output in Brazil closed 2012 with a 2.7 percent contraction compared with 2011, and remained at nearly the same level as early 2010. President Dilma Rousseff's government has attempted to boost the sector through a series of stimulus measures, trade barriers and tax breaks, although the production figures suggest Brazil's manufacturers responded little last year, if at all. Much of the blame for the three-year long period of mediocre industrial growth has been placed on weak global demand, as well as the structural challenges facing manufacturers in Brazil. Chief among them is labor. Unemployment fell to an all-time low in December, piling additional pressure on manufacturers already struggling with low productivity, high taxes, and infrastructure bottlenecks. In addition, concerns over government intervention in the private sector and lackluster economic growth in Brazil have sapped investor confidence, leading to a decline in capital goods production, which was the biggest contributor to December's fall. December's industrial production failed to expand from November, better than the 0.35 percent drop forecast in the survey. Forecasts for the monthly change ranged from a drop of 1.8 percent to an increase of 0.3 percent. The decline in industrial production from November to October was revised to 1.3 percent on Friday, from a previously reported 0.6 percent. Of the 27 industrial sectors surveyed by IBGE, 14 contracted in December from November, including machinery and office equipment. In broader industrial categories, production of capital goods fell 0.8 percent in December from November, while durable consumer goods fell 0.5 percent and intermediate goods dropped 0.1 percent. (pct change) Dec/Nov Dec12/Dec11 2012/2011 Capital goods -0.8 -14.7 -11.8 Intermediate goods -0.1 -2.5 -1.7 Consumer goods 0.5 -1.4 -1.0 Durable consumer goods -0.5 -3.5 -3.4 Semi-durable and 0.9 -0.8 -0.3 non-durable consumer goods Industrial output 0.0 -3.6 -2.7
NEW YORK, June 25 Insurer Assurant Inc's shares could double because it is emphasizing fee-based businesses while lowering its exposure to its riskier underwriting business, according to a report in Barron's.