Sun, Sep 07, 2008 - Page 11 News List

Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■INVESTMENT

Nomura eyes Lehman Bros

The president of Japan’s biggest brokerage house, Nomura Holdings, said the company was considering buying a stake in troubled US investment bank Lehman Brothers, a report said yesterday. The move would be part of a plan to spend more than ¥200 billion (US$1.9 billion) on investment in US and European financial institutions, Kenichi Watanabe said in an interview in the Yomiuri Shimbun. Lehman “is one of the candidates in which we plan to invest,” Watanabe said without elaborating.

■LABOR

Strike on at Boeing

Despite a 48-hour contract extension, negotiations between Boeing Co and Machinists union officials have failed and the union declared: “The strike is on!” The Machinists bargain for about 25,000 aircraft assembly workers in the Puget Sound area and about 2,000 more in Wichita, Kansas, and Portland, Oregon. Picket lines went up in Wichita early yesterday and West Coast machinists were due to walk out at 12:01am PDT (7:01 GMT).

■ECONOMY

Indonesia turns to deficit

Indonesia recorded its first current account deficit in almost three years for the second quarter of this year as oil prices increased. Southeast Asia’s biggest economy turned to a US$1.5 billion deficit in its current account in the three months to June, from a US$2.3 billion surplus in the first quarter, the nation’s central bank said in a statement dated Friday. Indonesia’s trade surplus narrowed as growth in non-oil exports slowed, while its oil trade deficit widened.

■MINING

Vale breaks ground in Peru

Brazilian mining company Vale broke ground on Friday on a US$479 million phosphate mine in Peru, becoming the second Brazilian company to announce a major investment there this week. Vale’s Bayovar mine, set to open in 2010 in the northern province of Piura, will produce about 3.9 million tonnes of phosphate a year, Companhia Vale do Rio Doce SA announced in a statement. The mine has 238 million tonnes of phosphate reserves, which are mostly used to produce phosphate fertilizers. The investment will turn Peru into an exporter of phosphorous rock and eventually of phosphate fertilizer, Peruvian President Alan Garcia said at the inauguration ceremony.

■AVIATION

Bank denies Alitalia rumor

The bank overseeing the relaunch of Italy’s ailing national airline Alitalia denied a report on Friday that it had offered a stake of between 10 percent and 20 percent to Air France-KLM, the ANSA news agency said. “There is absolutely no basis” to the report in the French daily La Tribune, the agency quoted a spokesman for the Intesa Sanpaolo bank as saying. La Tribune had said Intesa Sanpaolo offered the stake in secret and “held out the possibility that Air France-KLM could become the majority shareholder in five years’ time, in 2013,” according to an unsourced report.

■LABOR

Unionists paralyze exports

Staff from Ivory Coast’s coffee and cocoa marketing body BCC have launched an unlimited strike over back pay that is paralyzing exports, an official for the BCC said on Friday. “The unionists have ransacked” the hall dealing with export operations, leading to a “paralysis” in the coffee-cocoa trade, senior BCC official Kouassi Konan said. Konan said the strike had no connection with an ongoing corruption probe that has implicated many top BCC executives.

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