January 21

Briefcase

Average price of gas falls 2.2 cents in Maine, nation

The average price of gasoline has fallen 2.2 cents in Maine in the past week, to $3.49 a gallon.

The gasoline pricing website GasBuddy.com surveys more than 1,200 Maine gasoline outlets.

The average price of gas nationally also has fallen 2.2 cents, to $3.27 a gallon.

Prices in Maine are 3.1 cents per gallon lower than a year ago, and 1.1 cents per gallon higher than a month ago.

The national average has increased 4.7 cents per gallon during the last month and stands a penny per gallon higher than a year ago.

AB InBev will repurchase S. Korean Oriental Brewery

Anheuser-Busch InBev is reacquiring Oriental Brewery, South Korea’s leading brewery, for $5.8 billion.

Belgium-based AB InBev sold the brewery in 2009 for $1.8 billion to cut its debt following its acquisition of St. Louis-based Anheuser Busch. Oriental Brewery, maker of Cass beer, has an exclusive license to distribute AB InBev brands, including Budweiser, Corona and Hoegaarden, in South Korea.

AB InBev said it will close on the purchase from private equity firms KKR and Affinity Equity Partners in the first half of 2014.

Beer volumes in South Korea grew 2 percent from 2009 to 2012, and premium beers grew 10 percent annually. The country’s beer market is expected to grow by more than 13 percent during 2012 to 2022, AB InBev said.

AB InBev’s purchase of Oriental Brewery is its largest acquisition since its $20.1 billion purchase last year of the half of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo it didn’t already own.

World’s unemployment rose by 5 million in 2013

Global unemployment jumped to nearly 202 million in 2013 as jobs failed to keep up with the world’s growing labor force, according to a United Nations agency.

That represents an almost 5 million increase from 2012, with almost half of the new jobless coming from East Asia and South Asia, the International Labor Organization said Monday. A big chunk of the freshly unemployed are also located in Europe and sub-Saharan Africa.

The labor agency said the huge pool of workers who lost their jobs since the 2008 financial crisis has widened.

– From news service reports

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