Saab gets 13m euro order
Saab has received a 13 million euro (US$18.4 million) order from a Chinese company and the pre-payment expected this week will enable the firm to pay staff and partially pay suppliers, its parent company said yesterday. “A Chinese company placed an order to purchase 582 Saab vehicles with a total value of 13 million euro [sic] ... the full pre-payment is expected to be received this week, providing Saab Automobile with short-term funding to pay the wages to its employees and make partial supplier payments,” Swedish Automobile NV said in a statement. It did not specify who was the Chinese buyer. The cash-strapped company said it was still looking for more short-term funding to secure its future.
Siemens’ stake still in play
Siemens AG said it’s still in talks over the sale of a stake in the telecommunications networks business it runs with Nokia Oyj after the Wall Street Journal said the companies failed to reach an agreement with bidders. Nokia and Siemens are focusing on restructuring Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) and may put more cash into the venture, the Journal said, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. Talks with Gores Group LLC and Platinum Equity LLC to sell a controlling stake will probably not lead to a deal, the paper said. NSN, a 50-50 joint venture between Nokia and Siemens, is the world’s second-biggest maker of wireless communications equipment.
Daewoo wins US$1.8bn deal
South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering said yesterday it has won a US$1.8 billion deal to build 10 giant container ships for A.P. Moeller-Maersk of Denmark. Under the agreement with the world’s largest container carrier, Daewoo said it will by 2015 deliver the 10 ships, which each have a capacity of 18,000 TEU (20-foot equivalent unit) containers. Daewoo, South Korea’s second-largest shipbuilder, in February won a US$1.8 billion order from the same shipper with an option to provide 20 additional vessels if requested. The latest agreement is part of that agreement, Daewoo said.
Akzo Nobel to take hit
Akzo Nobel, the world’s largest maker of paint, is warning its second-quarter earnings will be hurt by commodity price rises, weak business and longer-than-expected maintenance periods at some plants. The company said sales were in line with expectations, but it expects margins to be flat from the previous quarter. Raw material prices are up 20 percent, Akzo Nobel said yesterday in a statement. The company said demand in mature markets remains “soft.” It forecast operating earnings before depreciation and amortization of goodwill of 550 million euros in the second quarter. The same measure will be flat for the full year this year from last “assuming no further deterioration,” the company said.
US investigates Home Depot
US officials are investigating allegations that Home Depot is providing Chinese-made products and other foreign goods to government customers in violation of the Buy American Act. The investigation was disclosed in a US Department of Justice court filing earlier this year in a Los Angeles federal court. Justice officials are mulling whether to take over a whistleblower lawsuit that alleges the country’s largest home improvement retail chain has violated the 1933 law mandating US materials be used in public construction projects.