Sun, Oct 22, 2006 - Page 11 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Copyrights
YouTube deletes 29,549 files

The popular video-sharing site YouTube deleted nearly 30,000 files after a Japanese entertainment group complained of copyright infringement. The Japan Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers, found 29,549 video clips such as television shows, music videos and movies posted on YouTube's site without permission, an official from the group, Fumiyuki Asakura, said on Friday. The San Mateo, California-based company quickly complied with the request to remove the copyright materials, made on behalf of 23 Japanese TV stations and entertainment companies, Asakura said.

■ Investment

WorldCom payouts to start

Thousands of individual investors who lost money in the WorldCom collapse are set to receive up to US$150 million from a special compensation fund, US regulators said on Friday. The Securities and Exchange Commission said in a statement that defrauded investors would start receiving compensation payouts from the fund immediately. The 2002 implosion of WorldCom marked the US' biggest corporate collapse. Investors in 110 countries made nearly 450,000 claims to the SEC-administered fund related to approximately 9.4 million transactions in WorldCom securities.

■ Banking

Watchdog tackles GE's Lake

Japan's financial watchdog has ordered GE Consumer Finance Ltd, a unit of General Electric Co, to temporarily suspend some operations, accusing the consumer lender of using inappropriate loan collection tactics. The Financial Services Agency on Friday ordered the company, which runs a personal loan business in Japan known as Lake, to halt all operations at its call centers in Tokyo and Osaka from Nov. 13 to Nov. 17. GE Consumer Finance has acknowledged that it called a customer at work twice in April, even though the customer asked not to receive such contacts after the first call. Calling a borrower at his or her workplace after a request not to do so is a violation of Japan's money-lending laws.

■ Automakers

Japanese eye Russia, Brazil

Nissan Motor Co and Suzuki Motor Corp are looking into jointly producing cars in Russia and Brazil, Japanese business daily Nihon Keizai reported yesterday. Nissan may produce cars for Suzuki in Brazil, where Nissan began production in 2001, as well as at its new plant in St. Petersburg, Russia, which will begin production in 2009, the paper said. Nissan and Suzuki officials were not available for comment yesterday. The reported plans follow an announcement in June that the two companies will mutually supply vehicles and share plants.

■ Reinsurance

Buffett assures Lloyds names

US investor Warren Buffett yesterday offered reassurance to thousands of Lloyds of London names over his company's deal to take on pre-1993 claims. In a deal announced on Friday, a unit of Berkshire Hathaway, his investment company, will provide US$7 billion reinsurance cover to Equitas, the company set up to manage the liabilities of policies underwritten by 34,000 individual investors, or "names." Berkshire Hathaway unit National Indemnity Co will also take over the staff and managment of Equitas, set up after Lloyds faced a crisis following the loss of £8 billion (US$15 billion) between 1988 and 1992 after a series of natural disasters and massive asbestos claims.

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