Thu, Apr 12, 2012 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

ELECTRONICS

Best Buy CEO quits

Best Buy chief executive Brian Dunn resigned on Tuesday after the embattled consumer electronics chain launched an internal investigation into his “personal conduct.” Best Buy announced it was conducting the probe late on Tuesday afternoon after initially saying the departure was a “mutual decision.” However, the company would not give any specifics on the circumstances surrounding the investigation of Dunn, a 28-year Best Buy veteran who had been chief executive since 2009 said in a statement that he was leaving the firm in the position “for a strong future.” Best Buy has not disclosed the terms of Dunn’s severance package, but his annual compensation for fiscal 2010, the latest figure available, was worth about US$5 million.

INSURANCE

AIG eyes real-estate market

American International Group (AIG), the giant US insurer bailed out at the height of the 2008 global financial crisis, is looking to get back into the real-estate market, the Wall Street Journal reported. The newspaper said on Tuesday that AIG, which has been selling off trophy properties in order to pay back the US government loans which kept it afloat, plans fresh investments in the US from later this year. Formerly the world’s largest insurance group, the company received a US$180 billion government bailout in 2008 to save it from catastrophic failure after the sub-prime home loan collapse threatened to bring down the whole financial system. Last month, the US Department of the Treasury said it had successfully sold US$6 billion of its shares in AIG, cutting its overall stake to 70 percent from 77 percent.

MYANMAR

Tokyo to help set up bourse

The government of this resource-rich nation is looking to establish a securities exchange with the help of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) and Daiwa Securities Group as it hunts for foreign investors after decades of isolation. Daiwa and the TSE announced their plans to establish an exchange with the Central Bank of Myanmar in a statement yesterday. They did not provide details, but a Japanese source with knowledge of the matter said they were aiming to launch the bourse in 2015. News of the exchange follows historic by-elections on April 1 which saw Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy secure landslide victories, prompting moves to relax Western sanctions amid intense investor interest. Myanmar, the TSE and Daiwa Institute of Research plan to sign a memorandum of understanding about the establishment of the bourse next month, according to the Japanese source.

BANKING

European banks eye recovery

HSBC Holdings PLC, Europe’s biggest bank, said there was a “glimmer” of light for European bank earnings as it upgraded the industry to overweight for the first time in four years. European bank earnings may have bottomed out as long as the region’s economy does not contract by more than 2 percent this year, HSBC analyst Peter Sullivan wrote to clients yesterday. “The forces that have depressed earnings — deleveraging, increased capital requirements and loan-loss provisions — are beginning to abate,” Sullivan wrote. “At these valuation levels it will not take much good news at all to spark a reassessment and one possible catalyst is signs that earnings are stabilizing, which could well happen over the next quarter or two.”

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