Tue, Dec 07, 2010 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

BANKING

Nikko to buy DBS Asset

Sumitomo Trust and Banking Co’s unit Nikko Asset Management Co agreed to buy DBS Asset Management (星展資金管理) from DBS Group Holdings Ltd (星展集團) for S$137 million (US$105 million) to tap business from the expanding ranks of wealthy Asians. Under the accord, DBS Asset will also take a 7.25 percent stake in Nikko Asset and the combined firm’s managed assets will total more than US$150 billion, the companies said in a joint statement filed with the Singapore stock exchange yesterday. The number of millionaires in the Asia--Pacific region reached 3 million last year, matching those in Europe for the first time, a June report by Capgemini and Bank of America Corp’s Merrill Lynch unit said. Asian millionaires’ assets rose 31 percent to US$9.7 trillion, the study showed.

PHARMACEUTICALS

Pfizer CEO steps down

Pfizer Inc’s chief executive has stepped down without warning, acknowledging the personal toll involved in steering the world’s largest drugmaker through a multibillion-dollar merger. The departure of Jeffrey Kindler, 55, comes more than a year after Pfizer completed the signature move of his tenure — the US$67 billion acquisition of rival Wyeth. However, he leaves before the company confronts the US patent expiration of its top-selling Lipitor cholesterol medicine.

ELECTRONICS

Rare-earth extractor coming

Hitachi Ltd has developed machinery to harvest rare earth metals from discarded hard-disk drives and compressors as electronics makers seek to reduce their reliance on Chinese supply. The machine can extract 100 rare earth magnets from hard disk drives per hour, about eight times faster than manual labor, Tokyo-based Hitachi said in a statement yesterday. The company plans to get 10 percent of its rare-earth needs through recycling when the business begins operating in fiscal 2013, Satoko Yasunaga said.

AIRLINES

Cathay Pacific CEO named

Airline Cathay Pacific has announced that chief operating officer John Slosar will take over as chief executive next year when current head Tony Tyler leaves to head the industry lobby group IATA. In a press release, the Hong Kong flag carrier said Slosar would take up the post after Tyler steps down on March 31 next year. Slosar, 54, was managing director of parent company Swire Pacific’s beverage division before joining Cathay in 2007.

AUTOMOBILES

Hyundai halts Ulsan plant

Hyundai Motor Co stopped production at its plant in Ulsan, South Korea, yesterday because of worker unrest, less than four hours after a three-week shutdown ended. Hyundai, based in Seoul, initially stopped manufacturing at the plant on Nov. 15 after the workers began a sit-in demanding they be made permanent employees. Hyundai resumed plant operations at 50 percent of capacity at 8am yesterday even as the sit-in continued.

SERVICES

Philippines top call-center

The Philippines has become the call-center capital of the world, overtaking India as the No. 1 player in the global business outsourcing market, according to industry data and the government. Philippine President Benigno Aquino forecast last week that the industry’s revenues would hit US$12 billion to US$13 billion next year, rising to US$100 billion by 2020 to account for a fifth of the global market.

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