Siemens exiting nuclear
German industrial giant Siemens is turning the page on nuclear energy, CEO Peter Loescher told the Der Spiegel weekly in an interview published yesterday. “We will no longer be involved in overall managing of building or financing nuclear plants. This chapter is closed for us,” he said, explaining that Siemens would restrict its activity to double-use technology. “We will from now on supply only conventional equipment such as steam turbines. This means we are restricting ourselves to technologies that are not only for nuclear purposes but can also be used in gas or coal plants.” The German government announced its decision to abandon nuclear power by 2022 in the wake of the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.
Honda eyes Russian plant
Honda Motor has decided to build its first factory in Russia, becoming the last of the five major Japanese automakers to do so, the Nikkei Shimbun reported yesterday. Russia has an expanding car market and the Nikkei said Honda, the third-largest Japanese vehicle manufacturer, has submitted the plant plan to the Russian government. The factory will probably have a production capacity of 30,000 to 50,000 units per year, the newspaper said, adding that the initial investment was expected to total several billion yen. The company will discuss the factory’s location with the Russian government, but coastal regions in Russia’s Far East are considered potential candidates, the Nikkei said, without naming any city. Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Mazda either already have factories in Russia or are planning to build them.
Transaction tax mulled
A proposed tax on financial transactions could be introduced in the eurozone alone, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in an interview to be published yesterday. “The ban on ‘naked’ short selling was only the beginning of the measures we are taking,” Schaeuble told Bild am Sonntag. “Before the end of the autumn we are going to create a tax on financial transactions. If necessary, I’m sure, just in the eurozone.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy signaled their support for the measure during a summit last month to discuss the euro debt crisis. According to the proposals submitted to the European Commission, the two leaders want at least a Europe-wide tax, but Britain and Sweden — EU members but not part of the eurozone — have made their opposition known.
Myer’s online sales growing
Myer Holdings Ltd, Australia’s biggest department store chain, said online sales might reach 5 percent of the company’s revenue “very quickly” as gains in the Australian dollar spur Internet shopping. Online sales at the company are now A$5 million (US$5.2 million) and the pace has tripled from a year earlier, chief executive Bernie Brookes told Australian Broadcasting Corp television yesterday. Melbourne-based Myer last week reported revenue of A$3.2 billion for the 12 months ended July. An upgraded Web site, offering as many as 250,000 items and free delivery, aims to capture a bigger share of online sales as Myer targets Internet revenue closer to the A$30 million to A$40 million it gets from most of its stores. The company, has lost customers as gains in the Australian dollar make overseas Web sites cheaper while also battling stalling domestic consumer spending.