Kraft to list on NASDAQ
Kraft Foods Inc is spurning the New York Stock Exchange and moving its stock listing to the NASDAQ, a move the company says will cut costs as it prepares to split into two publicly traded companies. The packaged foods maker also said on Friday that NASDAQ’s billboard in the heart of Times Square will give its brands such as Oreo, Nabisco and Cadbury greater visibility. Kraft spokesman Michael Mitchell said the company was impressed with the advertising and brand-building NASDAQ does on behalf of its member companies. He also noted that the listing fees were “considerably less” for NASDAQ. The move should provide some consolation for the NASDAQ, which is owned by NASDAQ OMX Group Inc. The exchange has been under heavy criticism for its handling of Facebook Inc’s initial public stock offering.
Logitech to cut 450 jobs
Logitech International SA said on Friday that it is cutting 450 jobs — including about 100 in the US — as part of its restructuring. Company spokeswoman Nancy Morrison said the jobs to be eliminated, about 5 percent of the Logitech’s workforce as of March 31, are scattered through various parts of the company. The Swiss company makes computer accessories, video conferencing equipment and other gadgets. Its annual profit and revenue have dropped by double-digit percentages in three of the past four years. Logitech said the restructuring will cut annual operating costs by about US$80 million and help it free up money for growth opportunities. Logitech had said in April that it was overhauling the company, eliminating a layer of business and sales executive management and streamlining the company’s organization. It had said then that moves would be completed by the end of this month, its fiscal first quarter.
Central bank cuts rates
The central bank said it will slash key interest rates from tomorrow, the fourth round of cuts this year following signs of a slowdown in inflation and economic growth. The State Bank of Vietnam said it would lower the refinancing rate — charged on loans to commercial banks — to 11 percent from 12 percent. The discount rate will be lowered to 9 percent from 10 percent, and the overnight lending interest rate to 12 percent from 13 percent, the bank said in a statement posted on its Web site on Friday. This is the fourth time this year the central bank has cut rates, following similar reductions in March, April and last month. By repeatedly hiking rates last year, Vietnam successfully reined in double-digit inflation, which peaked at 23 percent in August last year, but last month was down to 8.34 percent year-on-year.
McDonald’s US, EU sales up
McDonald’s Corp says strength in the US and Europe drove up a key revenue figure last month, but warned that economic volatility around the world and rising expenses are pressuring its second-quarter results. The fast-food chain, based in Oak Brook, Illinois, also said that foreign currency translations are now expected to hurt second-quarter earnings by US$0.07 to US$0.09 per share. For last month, the company says global sales at stores open at least 13 months rose 3.3 percent. That is a key metric because it excludes the volatility from newly opened or closed stores. The figure was dragged down by results in the region encompassing the Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, where McDonald’s said sales fell 1.7 percent from a year ago.