Mon, Oct 24, 2011 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



Prospects are good: Swan

Treasurer Wayne Swan said market volatility caused by the sovereign debt crisis in Europe should not damp confidence in the nation’s prospects. “The situation in Europe will continue to have an impact on our region, our economy and our budget bottom line,” Swan said in his weekly economic note published yesterday. “But Australians should remain confident about our prospects, based on our strong fundamentals, our very low debt, low unemployment and our massive investment pipeline.” The jobless rate was 5.2 percent last month versus 9.1 percent in the US, and 10 percent in Europe in August. The nation’s sovereign debt burden of 27 percent is the developed world’s second-lowest, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.


Woodford dismisses probe

The ousted chief executive of Japan’s Olympus Corp says the company is not doing enough to investigate a massive US$687 million payment to mysterious financial advisers as part of a takeover. Olympus says outside lawyers and accountants will be part of what it called an independent review. But former chief executive Michael Woodford on Saturday dismissed the gesture, contending that the review was not genuinely independent. “You need forensic accountants going in quickly, very quickly,” he said. Olympus shares lost half their value — shedding more than US$4 billion — last week in the wake of Woodford’s dismissal and his allegations of financial wrongdoing.


MAN to invest more in Brazil

Volkswagen-owned truck and bus maker MAN will invest US$570 million in Brazil from next year to 2016 as it aims to double production in Latin America’s largest market, local media reported on Saturday. MAN — which makes 77,000 vehicles a year at its plant in Resende, Rio de Janeiro State — wants to boost production under the MAN and Volkswagen brands to more than 140,000 units, MAN Latin America president Roberto Cortes told O Globo daily. “It is the largest sum announced by MAN Latin America in its 30-year history,” said Cortes, after meeting Friday with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in Brasilia.


Myspace an error: Murdoch

News Corp’s purchase of Myspace was a “huge mistake” and the social network was mismanaged “in every possible way” following the acquisition, chief executive Rupert Murdoch said on Friday. Murdoch, addressing shareholders at the media and entertainment company’s annual meeting in Los Angeles, said News Corp’s 2005 purchase of Myspace for US$580 million was seen as “fantastic” at the time. “We paid US$600 million,” he said. “We could have sold it for US$6 billion a month later.” However, Myspace, was quickly eclipsed by Facebook, which has grown to more than 800 million members as Myspace’s numbers have dwindled. News Corp sold Myspace in June for US$35 million, just 6 percent of its purchase price, to Specific Media, a digital ad-targeting platform.


Iran-Turkey trade booms

Trade between Iran and Turkey will reach US$15 billion this year, the state-run Press TV news channel reported, citing Iranian ambassador to Turkey Bahman Hosseinpour. The value of goods and services traded between the two countries totaled US$10.6 billion during the first eight months of this year, Hosseinpour said in the report published on Saturday.

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