Fri, Dec 17, 2010 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

AUTOMAKERS

Honda recalls vehicles

Honda Motor Co said yesterday it would recall about 1.35 million Fit subcompacts globally to repair defective wiring in the headlights. No accident was reported from the defect, a Honda spokesman in Tokyo said. Subject to the recall are Fit cars built at Honda’s Suzuka factory in Japan between November 2001 and October 2007. About 735,000 units will be recalled in Japan. Honda will also recall 143,000 Fits exported to the US, and 385,000 units in Europe, where the model is called the Jazz. The car will also be recalled in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

JAPAN

Corporate tax cut

The Cabinet has approved cutting the corporate tax by 5 percentage points in a bid to spur the country’s sluggish economy. The corporate tax cut is part of tax reforms approved by the Cabinet of Prime Minister Naoto Kan yesterday that still require parliamentary approval. The corporate tax rate currently stands at 40 percent. Companies have long urged the government to slash the rate, which is higher than the global average of 25 percent to 30 percent, the government said.

INDIA

Interest rates unchanged

The central bank yesterday kept its key short-term interest rates unchanged, but warned of the need for “continued vigilance” to curb inflation. After six increases since March, the Reserve Bank of India opted against a further hike, keeping the repo rate on loans to banks at 6.25 percent and the reverse repo it pays to banks for deposits at 5.25 percent. The annual inflation rate cooled to 7.48 percent last month, its lowest level this year, but is still above the bank’s tolerance level of around 5.5 percent for the current year.

FOOD

McDonald’s expands in China

US fast food giant McDonald’s Corp is planning its biggest expansion yet in China by opening up to 200 new restaurants across the country next year. McDonald’s said it planned to increase its capital spending in China 40 percent next year, but declined to give the value of the planned investment, Dow Jones Newswires reported. The company said it also plans to remodel 80 percent of its existing restaurants, changing the red and yellow decor to a more relaxed, European-style bistro design.

INTERENT

EBay acquires Critical Path

Online auction house eBay on Wednesday announced it has bought mobile gadget application maker Critical Path Software as it follows buyers and sellers onto smartphones and other devices. Critical Path has worked with California-based eBay on applications that let smartphone users connect with the online auction house as well as its other services such as classified ads; ticket marketplace StubHub, and Shopping.com.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

FINANCE

Lehman payment plan filed

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc bondholders filed a rival plan with a US bankruptcy court in Manhattan, to parcel out the bank’s estimated US$58 billion in assets in the largest ever US bankruptcy reorganization. Hedge fund Paulson & Co, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and other bondholders that filed the plan on Wednesday said the reorganization proposal offered by Lehman in March favored large banks. The bondholder plan, would combine the claims and assets of Lehman’s various units and pay creditors from a single pool.

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