Mon, Jan 26, 2009 - Page 5 News List

Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■AVIATION

Air Canada cutting jobs

Air Canada has announced plans to cut another 345 jobs as it copes with decreased demand. Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said on Saturday that the cuts will mostly affect its 5,700 flight attendants, beginning on March 2. The latest job cuts are in addition to the 2,000 positions Air Canada said it was eliminating last June, when fuel prices were sky high.

■FINANCE

Obama to tighten system

US President Barack Obama plans to tighten the US financial regulatory system, introducing stricter rules for hedge funds, credit rating agencies and mortgage brokers, the New York Times reported yesterday. Citing administration officials, the newspaper said the new Democratic administration wants to eliminate conflicts of interest at credit rating agencies that gave top investment grades to new and unproven financial instruments that have been a source of market turmoil. The administration is likely to propose new federal standards for mortgage brokers and bolster the role of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the report said.

■BEVERAGES

Starbucks jobs under threat

Coffee chain Starbucks Corp could cut another 1,000 jobs in the coming weeks, a report in the Seattle Times on Saturday said. The latest cuts could include employees at its Seattle headquarters, district managers and field employees but not the so-called baristas, who serve customers, said the report, which cited a client note from an analyst at McAdams Wright Ragen. A Starbucks spokeswoman declined to comment. The coffee chain, which has been fighting to revive growth in the US, is closing 600 cafes and has already trimmed jobs in stores and at headquarters.

■AUTOMOBILES

Ford says sales to be stable

Ford Motor Co, the second-largest US automaker, said US sales for light trucks and cars this month are expected to be about the same as last month, when the annual sales rate was about 10.3 million. Tight credit and a weak economy means sales in the US are unlikely to increase, Ford’s chief executive officer Alan Mulally told reporters after a speech on Saturday at the National Automobile Dealers Association conference in New Orleans. “Everybody is struggling right now in the US economy,” Mulally said. “Things will start to get better in the second quarter” due to the government’s economic stimulus plans.”

■FOOD

Inspectors find listeria

The Canadian food maker linked to a bacteria outbreak that caused at least 20 deaths and the country’s largest meat recall last year has again tested positive for listeria. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency on Saturday inspected a subsidiary of Maple Leaf Foods after testing showed positive results for listeria bacterium. The subsidiary, Cappola Food Inc, makes deli meat for the Canadian and US markets. No illnesses have been reported. Listeriosis is a type of food poisoning.

■AUTOMOBILES

Continental head to go

Continental AG announced on Saturday that its chairman was stepping down, only weeks after the Schaeffler Group KG completed its purchase of the tire and auto parts maker. Schaeffler, which makes ball bearings, asked that Hubertus von Gruenberg resign as chairman of the board. Von Gruenberg will retain a seat on the board of the company.

■ BUILDING SUPPLIE

Mitsubishi to stop shipments

Mitsubishi Materials Corp, a Japanese producer of metals and building supplies, said it will stop shipping cement to the US from China amid falling construction demand. The company will halt shipments to the US for a year and deliver its Chinese cement production to local markets, spokesman Nobuyuki Suzuki said yesterday. The Nikkei newspaper reported the plan earlier yesterday.

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