Sun, Dec 21, 2008 - Page 11 News List

Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■INTERNET

Google’s market share up

Internet search giant Google slightly increased its share of the US search engine market last month, online researcher comScore Inc reported on Friday. The Virginia-based company said Google sites led the US search market with 63.5 percent of the searches conducted, a gain of 0.4 percentage points from October. The number of searches conducted on Yahoo sites fell 0.1 percentage points to 20.4 percent, comScore said. Searches on Microsoft sites fell 0.2 percentage points to 8.3 percent. ComScore said Americans made a total of 12.3 billion searches last month, a 3 percent decline from October, which had 31 days as opposed to 30.

■ENERGY

Petrobras postpones deal

Brazilian state oil company Petrobras has postponed finalizing a five-year investment plan amid “uncertainty and volatility” in world oil markets. Petroleo Brasileiro SA said its board of directors unanimously agreed on Friday to reevaluate existing projects and reconsider its spending plan for next year to 2013. Oil prices reached record highs in July and have since tanked more than 70 percent. That volatility has complicated the company’s efforts to forecast earnings and plan spending.

■VIDEO GAMES

Electronic Arts cuts jobs

Struggling US video game maker Electronic Arts Inc announced additional job cuts on Friday and said it would merge or close at least nine studios and publishing facilities. The Redwood City, California, company said it was cutting its worldwide workforce by 10 percent, or 1,000 jobs, an increase of 4 percent over the 6 percent workforce reduction announced in October. “The restructuring also calls for consolidation or closure of at least nine studio and publishing locations,” the publisher of popular titles such as Madden NFL 09, Spore and Warhammer Online said in a statement.

■FINANCE

Citic plan gets go-ahead

Shareholders of Citic Pacific Ltd (中信泰富), the Hong Kong arm of a Chinese government investment firm, approved a bailout from its parent company to cover losses from bad currency bets. A majority of independent shareholders voted in favor of a HK$11.6 billion loan (US$1.5 billion) provided by Beijing-based Citic Group, said a document filed to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange late on Friday.

■JAPAN

Cabinet approves package

The Cabinet yesterday approved a ¥4.8 trillion (US$54 billion) second extra budget to finance a massive stimulus package, government officials said. Prime Minister Taro Aso’s Cabinet plans to submit the budget, for the year to March, to parliament early next year, the officials said. The budget, exceeding the ¥1.81 trillion first supplementary budget, is intended to fund cash handouts, a job-creation scheme and other economic measures in the ¥26.9 trillion stimulus package unveiled in October.

■LATVIA

Aid package under way

An aid package for Latvia being drawn up by the IMF and the European Commission will be ready on Friday, a source with knowledge of the talks said. The source did not know the size of the loan. The Diena newspaper said that according to its information the total loan would be worth US$10.47 billion. The loan is to come from the IMF, the commission and the Nordic countries, officials said.

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