Wed, Dec 07, 2011 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

ELECTRONICS

Dell halts US tablet sales

Dell Inc said on Monday it would halt sales of its Android tablet computer in the US market, as rival Amazon.com’s new Kindle Fire has heated up in a market dominated by Apple Inc’s iPad. A message on the Texas-based computer’s Web site said that the 7-inch Streak tablet powered by Google Inc’s mobile operating software would no longer be sold in the US. The Streak 7 failed to gain momentum after its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Dell said Streak 7 continues to be available “in many markets” through partners, such as Optus in Australia. A 10-inch version of the Streak is sold in China.

BANKING

HSBC cuts 330 UK jobs

HSBC Holdings PLC will cut 330 jobs in the UK because of “the very challenging economic environment,” the global banking giant said on Monday. “HSBC is today announcing some proposed changes to various areas of our business that will result in the loss of approximately 330 roles in the UK ... in response to the very challenging economic environment and the bank’s need to ensure it is working as efficiently as possible,” a statement said. The UK’s largest trade union, Unite, slammed Europe’s biggest bank for making a “disgraceful” announcement so close to Christmas. HSBC said the job losses were in addition to a major restructuring program announced in August, when the bank revealed plans to cut 30,000 jobs worldwide during the next two years to reduce costs.

SOFTWARE

Microsoft teams with Hitachi

Microsoft Corp is joining forces with Hitachi Consulting to help develop new software for Microsoft’s business group in Fargo, North Dakota. The agreement announced on Monday would establish a technical development center in Fargo. Plans call for the business to start out at the Microsoft campus and eventually move into a new facility. Hitachi Consulting spokesperson Mike Gillis expects the new venture to employ about 20 people in the first six months, but says it has potential to hire more than 1,500 people. Hitachi Consulting is a global management consulting and technology services company with operations in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

INSURANCE

Swiss Re costs Thai floods

Swiss Reinsurance Co Ltd yesterday said that Thailand’s worst flooding in decades would cost it about US$600 million, but warned that the estimate could be revised. “Water levels remain high in certain regions, making it difficult to correctly estimate the losses,” Swiss Re said in a statement. “The impact of the floods on the Thai economy and on businesses active there is likely to be big and could last for a certain amount of time,” said Brian Gray, chief underwriting officer at the company. About 1,500 industrial sites were affected by the floods, the firm said.

ELECTRONICS

IBM buys Curam Software

US computer giant IBM said on Monday that it has bought Curam Software, an Irish company that makes programs used by government agencies to deliver social services. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. IBM said Curam software is used in more than 80 government agency projects around the world, including by health and human services, workforce programs and social security organizations. The Dublin-based Curam was founded in 1990 and has about 700 employees.

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