Evergreen replaces chief
Evergreen Marine Corp. (長榮海運), Asia’s biggest container shipping line, announced on Friday that chief executive vice president Wang Chung-jinn (王宗進) will replace Jack Yen (顏火燿) as the company’s president tomorrow. Wang will also serve as the company’s spokesman, while Yen will become a vice chairman at the nation’s largest container shipping company.
Volkswagen net income falls
Germany’s Volkswagen AG, Europe’s largest carmaker by sales, said on Friday its net income for last year fell 80 percent to 960 million euros (US$1.3 billion) from nearly 5 billion euros in 2008. The drop came as revenue fell 8 percent, to 105.2 billion euros from nearly 114 billion euros a year earlier, even though deliveries to customers were up 1.3 percent year-on-year at 6.34 million vehicles from 2008. Volkswagen said its revenue and operating profit for this year are expected to exceed the previous year’s figures.
Postbank Ireland to close
Postbank Ireland, jointly owned by the Irish post office and French bank BNP Paribas, said on Friday it would stop accepting new customers and wind down by the end of the year. Postbank chairman Thierry Schuman said a number of factors had led to the decision, including “the unprecedented circumstances in which the financial services sector finds itself, the highly competitive savings market within Ireland and the absence of a perspective of profitability in current market circumstances.”
Fannie Mae asks for cash
Fannie Mae is asking for a federal cash infusion of US$15.3 billion after posting another big loss in the fourth quarter of last year. The mortgage finance company, seized by federal regulators in September 2008, lost US$16.3 billion, or US$2.87 a share in the October-to-December period. That takes into account US$1.2 billion in dividends paid to the Treasury Department. It compares with a loss of US$25.2 billion or US$4.47 a share, in the year-ago period.
Credit under pressure
The breakdown in talks on how Iceland should compensate Britain and the Netherlands for money lost in the collapse of an Icelandic bank has put pressure on Iceland’s already weak credit status, ratings agency Moody’s said on Friday. Reykjavik’s failure “to resolve the Icesave dispute puts the Icelandic government’s BAA3 rating under downward pressure,” Moody’s said in a statement. “Moody’s believes the failure to reach a new agreement is likely to lead to an extended delay of the IMF program, a weaker economic recovery and potentially, political instability,” it said.
Coffee producers meet
Delegates representing coffee producers and consumers met in Guatemala on Friday to discuss global warming’s effect on coffee growing, as producers warned climate change has forced them to find new growing grounds. Coffee producers say they are getting hammered by global warming, with higher temperatures forcing growers to move to higher, cooler and more prized ground, putting their cash crop at risk. “In the last 25 years the temperature has risen half a degree in coffee producing countries, five times more than in the 25 years before,” said Nestor Osorio, head of the International Coffee Organization.