US, Seoul FTA to take effect
A long-delayed free-trade deal between the US and South Korea will go into effect on March 15 following months of technical-level talks, officials said on Tuesday, cheering business groups that have waited years for the day. South Korean Minister for Trade Park Tae-ho told reporters implementation of the deal would help exporters who have lost sales to Europe because of the debt crisis. The US-South Korea deal will eliminate Seoul’s duties on almost 80 percent of US industrial products and almost 67 percent of US farm goods on its first day of entry into force.
SAP, Samsung cooperate
SAP AG and Samsung Electronics Co are teaming up to make mobile devices running Google Inc’s Android operating system safer to use as corporate tools, people familiar with the matter said. SAP, the largest maker of enterprise-management software, and Samsung will present their plans next week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, said the people, who declined to be named because the details are not public. The cooperation will include e-mail encryption, as well as making handsets compatible with device-management systems that remotely update software and can operate phone functions such as switching the camera on and off, one of the people said.
No extension for Kingfisher
Lenders to India’s Kingfisher Airlines have not agreed to extend further loans to the debt-crippled carrier, three banking sources said yesterday after reports that one state-owned creditor was close to offering a bailout loan package. Several newspapers reported that State Bank of India (SBI) would throw a lifeline to Kingfisher, which is majority owned by liquor baron Vijay Mallya, giving figures ranging from 2 billion to 16.5 billion rupees (US$40 million to US$335 million). However, banking sources said the airline’s consortium of 16 lenders, which includes SBI, were still studying a debt-restructuring proposal put forward last week.
Ford to raise compensation
Ford Motor Co boosted annual compensation for board members by 25 percent and will pay 29 percent more to Edsel Ford II, its founder’s great-grandson, for his work as a director and consultant. Ford will pay its board members an annual retainer of US$250,000, up from US$200,000, the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker said in a regulatory filing yesterday. Edsel Ford, a director, will also receive US$650,000 a year in cash as a consultant, up from US$500,000.