Wed, Jan 12, 2011 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

STOCK MARKETS

S Korea places new limits

South Korea’s financial regulators will limit the number of derivative equity contracts an investor can hold as authorities continue investigating the cause of a plunge in the KOSPI on Nov. 11. Institutional investors will be allowed a maximum 10,000 futures and options contracts in any “speculative” or open and unhedged transaction, the South Korean Financial Services Commission said in an e-mailed statement yesterday, without saying when the new rule will become effective. While institutions are now limited to 7,500 futures contracts and individuals can hold 5,000 futures contracts, there are no limits on options. “The measures are aimed at sounder and more efficient markets by easing risks stemming from derivatives investments,” it said.

AUTOMAKERS

Prius ranks No. 1 in Japan

Toyota Motor Corp’s Prius hybrid ranked as Japan’s top-selling car last year, with annual sales hitting an all-time high, bucking the fallout from a series of massive global recalls, an auto industry group said yesterday. Toyota sold a record 315,669 Prius cars in its home market last year, up 51 percent from 2009, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said. The world’s No. 1 automaker has recalled more than 11 million vehicles worldwide, including the Prius, since late 2009 because of acceleration and braking problems.

RETAIL

Sales up at Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer Group PLC, the UK’s largest clothing retailer, said pre-Christmas revenue increased as the company sold more items, including Fair Isle knitwear, accessories and sleepwear. Sales at UK stores open more than a year increased 2.8 percent in the 13 weeks to Jan. 1, the company said yesterday in a statement. UK food sales on the same basis rose 1.8 percent, while general-merchandise sales increased 3.8 percent. The median estimate of 17 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for a 1.9 percent rise in same-store food sales and 3.2 percent for general merchandise.

ELECTRONICS

AMD seeks new CEO

Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD) is looking for a leader to replace ousted chief executive Dirk Meyer who can do a better job combating Intel Corp and getting chips into new devices. Under Meyer, directors were frustrated with AMD’s lack of progress in gaining market share and entering the tablet-computer industry, according to people familiar with the board’s deliberations. The company announced on Monday that Meyer had resigned and that it had formed a committee to find successor. “They need someone who has the passion to disrupt the market,” said Hans Mosesmann, an analyst at Raymond James & Associates in St Petersburg, Florida.

EMPLOYMENT

European openings rise

European job advertisements on the Internet held at the highest in two years last month, online-recruiting company Monster Worldwide Inc said. The Monster Employment Index Europe was at 122 for a third month, indicating a 22 percent increase from a year earlier, New York-based Monster said in a report yesterday. Last month’s reading is the highest since December 2008, when the index was at 132. “This shows that although the employment market is more positive than last year, a degree of uncertainty remains,” Andrea Bertone, head of Monster Europe, said in the statement. “It seems that many employers are waiting to see a clearer picture emerge before embarking on wider staff expansion.”

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