News in Brief: OECD calls for action, Yahoo, energy business

News in Brief

OECD calls for action to combat flagging growth

Governments must act “urgently” and “collectively” to boost spending and combat flagging growth in the world’s advanced economies, the OECD warned.

Against a backdrop of slowing trade and market turmoil, the OECD slashed growth forecasts for the entire G7 group of industrialised nations, reported the Financial Times.

The Paris-based think-tank expects the world economy to grow by 3% this year, 0.3 percentage points less than it forecast only three months ago. This would mean growth stagnating at the same rate as in 2015 – itself the slowest pace in five years and well below long-run averages.

As G20 finance ministers and central bankers prepare to meet in Shanghai, the OECD urged policymakers not to rely solely on low interest rates and quantitative easing to boost demand, but to offer more fiscal stimulus, including infrastructure spending, to preserve the recovery.

Catherine Mann, OECD chief economist, said global growth prospects had “practically flatlined”, adding that despite the boost from the drop in oil prices and low interest rates, evidence pointed to slower growth in all major economies.

Yahoo set to separate its Alibaba stake

The US search engine Yahoo has confirmed it is looking at "strategic alternatives" for its business, including splitting off its stake in Chinese online retailer Alibaba.

Yahoo said it is setting up a committee to look into how the business can be reorganised to reverse its current financial woes, reported the BBC.

The firm's share price has fallen by more than 40% since the end of 2014.

Boss Marissa Mayer has been under pressure to revitalise the business.

Energy business appoints CEO

GE Lighting has appointed Pete Lau as chief executive officer (CEO) of a new start-up backed by the lighting company’s balance sheet.

Energy business Current brings together GE’s LED, solar, energy storage and electric vehicle businesses. The portfolio includes sensor-enabled hardware, software, fulfilment, product management and financing solutions.

Lau will be heading the new company in Europe and the Middle East and steer Current towards new, energy efficient models to help customers change how they manage their energy consumption.

Lau brings more than 15 years of commercial and operations leadership within GE to the CEO role. Lau also served as general manager of global sourcing and LED fulfilment, where he built GE Lighting’s new partnership ecosystem and drove customer-centric business operations.