New stimulus planned
The government is considering more steps to fire up the economy on top of a planned ¥12 trillion (US$131 billion) in new spending and tax cuts as the economy probably shrank an annualized 10 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, the Nikkei Shimbun reported. Economics Minister Kaoru Yosano has instructed ministries to informally craft policies aimed at reviving the economy, the Nikkei said yesterday without citing sources. Parliament is now debating the government’s record ¥88.5 trillion budget for the next fiscal year starting in April.
SIA drops Vancouver route
Singapore Airlines (SIA) said yesterday it would suspend its thrice weekly service to Vancouver, which has been “badly affected” by the global economic crisis. The last flight will be on April 25, the airline said in a statement. The Singapore-Vancouver service passes through Seoul. SIA said it would continue to serve Canada through its 42 weekly flights between Singapore and its gateways in the US. The airline also offers codeshare services on Air Canada to Toronto and Montreal from its European gateways.
Buffett buys Tiffany debt
Tiffany & Co says it sold US$250 million in debt to billionaire Warren Buffett’s company, and the jeweler plans to use the proceeds to refinance existing debt. New York-based Tiffany disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday that it had sold the debt to Berkshire Hathaway Inc a day earlier. Omaha-based Berkshire will receive 10 percent interest on the new senior notes. Half of the debt will be due in 2017, and the other half will be due in 2019.
Peanut Corp bankrupt
The peanut processing company at the heart of a national salmonella outbreak is going out of business. The Peanut Corp of America, which is headquartered in Lynchburg, Virginia, filed for bankruptcy in the US Bankruptcy Court in Virginia on Friday. It was the latest bad news for the company that has been accused of producing tainted peanut products that may have been sent to everyone from poor schoolchildren to disaster victims.
Suppliers ask for aid
Two groups representing US auto suppliers have asked the Treasury Department for up to US$25.5 billion in emergency aid, the associations said on Friday. The request came days before General Motors and Chrysler are required to present long-term viability plans to the Treasury to prove they will be able to repay US$13.4 billion in loans. The supplier organizations warned in their submission that as many as 1 million jobs could be lost should the supplier base not be supported.
Trump resigns from board
Real estate tycoon Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka are resigning from the board of directors of Trump Entertainment Resorts, the troubled casino company he once controlled. The company won a fourth extension on Wednesday on restructuring US$1.25 billion in debt, and some analysts have predicted it will file for bankruptcy protection if it doesn’t work out a deal with its bond holders. Trump said in a statement released late on Friday that he is quitting because it is controlled by the company’s bond holders and he disagrees with their actions.