Tue, Mar 29, 2011 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

ELECTRONICS

Samsung, Sumitomo partner

South Korea’s Samsung LED and Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical Co said yesterday they would form a joint venture to produce sapphire wafers, a key material in the manufacture of flat-screen electronic displays. The 50-50 joint venture will be capitalized at 80 billion won (US$72 million) and start production of sapphire ingots and wafers from early next year, Samsung LED said in a statement. The company, an affiliate of Samsung Electronics Co, said the deal is expected to help it secure supplies and meet the rising demand for LEDs. The deal comes amid market concern about a global shortage of wafers after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Research firm IHS iSuppli said the disaster led to the suspension of a quarter of the global production of silicon wafers, which are used to make semiconductors.

INFRASTRUCTURE

Japan stops loan for bridge

Japan has put on hold a promised US$400 million loan for a river bridge in Bangladesh, as it focuses instead on reconstruction at home following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, a senior Bangladeshi official said yesterday. The loan agreement with Japan was scheduled to be signed this month, Musharraf said, but it was not now clear when this might be possible. The Japanese government was part of an international consortium, led by the World Bank, that agreed last year to lend Bangladesh up to US$2.9 billion for the 6km multipurpose bridge over the Padma River. Musharraf said the project would go ahead as planned despite the delay over the Japanese loan.

BANKING

Bank shuts off Tokyo ATMs

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd will shorten cash machine hours and suspend service at some ATMs in Tokyo and surrounding prefectures due to ongoing power shortages. The bank will operate cash machines from 8am to 7pm, and suspend some machines outside of its branches. Convenience store cash machines will operate as normal. The changes will start on April 4, the company said in a statement to the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

FINANCE

Citi posts loss in Japan

Citigroup Inc’s Japanese investment banking and consumer finance business posted a loss for a third straight year last year, led by a decline in underwriting fees and brokerage commissions. Citigroup Japan Holdings Corp’s loss narrowed to ¥71.8 billion (US$878 million) for the year ended on Dec. 31 from ¥391.6 billion in 2009, it said in a statement filed yesterday to the Ministry of Finance in Tokyo. Total revenue fell 61 percent to ¥135.4 billion after the bank sold its Nikko Cordial Securities Inc brokerage unit and part of its investment banking business to Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc in 2009.

ELECTRONICS

Philips foresees major loss

Royal Philips Electronics NV predicted a first-quarter deficit from its television division close to the loss the unit had in all of last year, raising pressure on the incoming chief executive officer to fix the business. The loss will be 100 million euros (US$155 million) to 120 million euros, Philips said in a statement yesterday. Last year, Philips lost 130 million euros from televisions. Philips attributed the loss to pricing pressure. Philips will likely fail to break even with the business for a second straight year, it said. The television subsidiary has suffered as Sony Corp and Panasonic Corp cut prices to combat local Chinese suppliers, and Philips has sought to limit losses by farming out some production.

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