Fri, Dec 10, 2010 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

FINANCE

Citigroup hiring in Ireland

US financial services group Citigroup will hire 250 people in Ireland next year in operations, funds, technology and product development, the company said yesterday. Citigroup already employs more than 2,200 workers in Dublin and Waterford, about 160km south of the capital, and has hired 300 people in the past 12 months. The jobs announcement was a rare piece of good news for Ireland, which has been rocked by a financial crisis that has seen unemployment soar, emigration return and its application for an 85 billion euros (US$113 billion) bailout from the IMF and EU last month.

MEMORY

Toshiba shipments to fall

Toshiba Corp’s shipments of NAND flash memory chips may fall as much as 20 percent next month and in February because of a power outage at a plant, the company said. The outage, which occurred at 5:21am on Wednesday, affected some equipment at Toshiba’s Yokkaichi plant in central Japan, said Hiroki Yamazaki, a spokesman at the Tokyo-based company. Almost all equipment should be back on line sometime today, he said. Toshiba forecasts its chip unit will make up about 17 percent of revenue totaling ¥7 trillion (US$83.5 billion) this fiscal year.

AUTOMAKERS

Volvo chief to step down

Volvo chief executive Leif Johansson will step down from the helm of the world’s No. 2 heavy goods vehicle manufacturer next year, the company said in Stockholm on Wednesday. During his 14 years, he refocused the company on heavy vehicles, selling its car business to Ford in 1999. It was subsequently bought by China’s Geely in August. Johansson will formally step down as president and chief executive officer in August next year.

CREDIT

South Korea ratings hold

Standard and Poor’s (S&P) yesterday affirmed its credit ratings for South Korea, but said it could lower them if military tensions with North Korea escalate or if the North’s succession is contested. S&P also expressed concern over the potentially hefty cost to Seoul of Korean reunification if the North’s regime collapses. The current ratings are supported by the nation’s dynamic economy, sound fiscal position, and a projected modest net external creditor position, the agency said.

BANKING

Standard’s income flat

Standard Chartered bank says income has been flat in the second half of the year, but the company expects to deliver record full-year profits despite steeply rising costs. Standard Chartered yesterday said in London that it is spending more money to comply with regulatory requirements and faces increasing competition for hiring and retaining staff. The bank said it expects a double-digit percentage rise in costs for the year. It also said that provisions for bad loans have continued to improve.

LEISURE

Club Med cuts net loss

French leisure group Club Med yesterday said it had cut its net loss by a factor of four in its 2009-2010 financial year, adding that prospects for next year looked good, with a sustained rise in reservations. In the financial year that ended on Oct. 31, Club Med suffered a net loss of 14 million euros (US$18.6 million), against a loss of 53 million euros the previous year and a profit of 2 million euros the year before.

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