‘Bad loan’ bank to be set up
A bank will be established next month to purchase bad loans owed by builders and developers, the Financial Services Commission said. The bank will take over as much as 1 trillion won (US$933 million) of non-performing debt arising from real estate development projects, the commission said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. It will operate under the private debt clearer United Asset Management Corp with lenders in Asia’s fourth-largest economy contributing funds. The government announced policy measures today to aid troubled builders and the property market, including tax incentives for real estate investment trusts that buy unsold housing. Since late last year, 29 of the nation’s 100 largest builders have applied for financial support because of a prolonged slump in construction and real estate, the statement said.
Infosys appoints new CEO
Infosys Technologies Ltd, India’s second-largest software exporter, promoted S.D. Shibulal to the post of chief executive officer, picking the company veteran to boost earnings amid rising competition for outsourcing deals. The board also named current chief executive S. Gopalakrishnan co-chairman, and former ICICI Bank Ltd head K.V. Kamath as chairman, the Bangalore-based company said in a statement on Saturday. Current chairman and billionaire founder N.R. Narayana Murthy will become chairman emeritus. As chief executive Shibulal, 56, has the task to win more outsourcing deals as Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and International Business Machines Corp expand in India. The management changes come after Infosys’s earnings missed estimates for the third time in four quarters and the company forecast its lowest profit margin since at least 2003.
Public supports privatization
Most people favor the sale of government stakes in state-controlled companies as a way of reducing debt, and they support ending guarantees of lifetime jobs for civil servants, an opinion poll showed. -Seventy-four percent of the 514 people surveyed by Public Issue for Kathimerini newspaper said government asset sales were imperative, compared with 21 percent who said they weren’t. Prime Minister George Papandreou’s government has announced a 50 billion euro (US$74 billion) target of revenue from asset sales. Of those surveyed, 58 percent said Hellenic Telecom, now controlled by Deutsche Telekom AG, operated better under private control than under the state.
ITC finds for Apple
Apple Inc won an International Trade Commission (ITC) ruling that said the maker of iPhones and iPads did not infringe a patent owned by Taiwan’s Elan Microelectronics Corp (義隆) for touch-control screens. ITC Judge Paul Luckern in Washington said Apple was not infringing the Elan patent, according to a posting on Friday on the agency’s Web site. The judge’s findings are subject to review by the six-member commission, which has the power to block imports of products found to violate US patent rights. Elan, a Hsinchu-based designer of integrated circuits, claimed Apple’s iPhone 3G and 3Gs, iPod touch, iPad, Mac computers and Magic Mouse wireless mouse violate its US patent. The invention involves the use of two fingers to perform operations on a computer screen, replacing the traditional computer mouse or trackball.