Tue, Oct 18, 2011 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

TECHNOLOGY

Samsung seeks iPhone ban

Samsung Electronics is asking Japanese and Australian courts to block sales of Apple’s new iPhone 4S in those countries. The preliminary injunctions Samsung filed yesterday in Tokyo District Court and the Federal Court in Australia are part of an intensifying patent battle between the smartphone giants. Samsung said Apple Inc continued to violate its patent rights and “free ride on our technology.” Samsung is also appealing an Australian court’s decision last week to temporarily ban sales of Samsung’s new Galaxy tablet computer. Apple accused Samsung of copying the iPad and iPhone and violating Apple’s patents. Samsung said it was also asking a Japanese court to immediately bar sales of the iPhone 4 and iPad 2.

MINING

Rio divesting Alcan business

Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto said yesterday it planned to sell 13 aluminium businesses in Australia, Europe and the US as it looks to trim its Alcan business. The company, which did not reveal how much it expected to raise from the asset sales, said refineries and smelters would go on the auction block as it looked to focus on so-called tier-one assets. Rio bought Canada’s Alcan at the top of the market in 2007 for about US$38 billion, driving up debt and forcing it to sell businesses and slash costs when the market turned amid the global financial crisis. Rio Tinto chief executive Tom Albanese said the assets were well-managed businesses with productive workforces, but no longer aligned with Rio’s strategy.

AVIATION

Air France to vote on CEO

Air France-KLM Group’s board were to meet yesterday to vote on ousting Air France-KLM chief executive officer Pierre-Henri Gourgeon and replacing him with Alexandre de Juniac, a former chief of staff to IMF managing director Christine Lagarde, according to two people with knowledge of the proposals. Gourgeon, 65, who has been chief executive since January 2009, was previously slated to stay in his position until January. Instead, he will leave the company within a short period of time, said the sources, who declined to be identified because the change is not yet official. Les Echos reported the board’s plan late on Sunday, saying Gourgeon was told on Friday that he would be replaced. The decision was attributed to disappointment with the firm’s performance.

JAPAN

Forecasts downgraded

The government yesterday downgraded its view of the economy for the first time in six months as an overseas slowdown weighed on output and exports, while a strong yen further clouded the outlook. In its monthly report for this month, the Cabinet Office said: “The Japanese economy is still picking up, although the pace has decelerated, while difficulties continue to prevail.” Last month’s report gave no reference to a slowing recovery. Tokyo lowered its assessment of exports, industrial production and personal consumption, while warning that deflation still poses a threat.

PHILIPPINES

Remittances rise 11.1%

Remittances sent home by citizens abroad increased at a faster pace in August, aiding domestic consumption even as a weakening global economy hurts the nation’s exports. The funds increased 11.1 percent from a year earlier to US$1.67 billion, the central bank said in a statement in Manila yesterday. Remittances grew 6.1 percent in July. The gain was the fastest since 2009, Bloomberg data showed.

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