Wed, Oct 31, 2012 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

ELECTRONICS

Sharp shares jump on talks

Sharp Corp shares jumped yesterday on a report that the embattled Japanese electronics maker is in talks with US tech giants Apple, Google and Microsoft on forming business and capital tie-ups. The maker of Aquos-brand products closed 6.2 percent higher at ¥172 in Tokyo trade. Sharp was talking to the US firms about supplying them with small and medium-sized power-saving LCD panels for laptops, tablet computers and smartphones, as well as asking them about injecting fresh funds into the struggling firm, Kyodo news agency said.

BANKING

UBS AG to lay off 10,000

Swiss banking giant UBS AG announced massive layoffs yesterday, along with huge losses in its third-quarter results, saying it aims to trim as many as 10,000 employees, or about 15 percent of its staff, to drastically shrink its ailing investment bank. Switzerland’s biggest bank said that as part of the cost-cutting drive to boost profitability, it “is likely to have a headcount of around 54,000” by 2015, down from its current 64,000 employees in 57 countries. The bank posted a net profit loss of 2.17 billion Swiss francs (US$2.31 billion), compared with a profit of SF1.02 billion during the same three-month period through September last year.

PETROLEUM

BP profit, dividends jump

Oil company BP has posted a solid increase in third-quarter profits that has allowed it to raise its dividend substantially. BP said yesterday that its profit of US$5.5 billion more than offset the US$1.34 billion loss reported in the previous three months, when the company wrote down the value of some assets. It was also 5 percent higher than last year’s equivalent of US$5.2 billion. Revenue of US$93.1 billion was also down from US$97.7 billion a year earlier. BP raised its quarterly dividend 12.5 percent to US$.0.9 per share.

NUCLEAR POWER

Hitachi to buy Horizon

Japan’s Hitachi Ltd has agreed to buy British atomic power company Horizon Nuclear Power Ltd from its German owners for £696 million (US$1.12 billion). The companies announced the deal yesterday, ending months of uncertainty after the 50-50 owners of Horizon, RWE AG and E.ON AG, abandoned plans to build nuclear power plants in Britain. Hitachi, Japan’s largest electrical machinery manufacturer, said it would continue to pursue plans to build new nuclear power stations at Wylfa in Wales and Oldbury-on-Severn in southwestern England. It plans to complete the acquisition by next month.

HOSPITALITY

Marriott doubling Asia hotels

Hotel operator Marriott International Inc said yesterday it planned to more than double the number of its properties in Asia in the next four years. Marriott said it expected to add 143 hotels to its 132 properties in Asia for a total of more than 80,000 rooms in 16 countries. The company said its Asian workforce should grow by 36,000 people to a total of 76,000 by 2016. Marriott’s brands include Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott and Renaissance.

INTERNET

Baidu profits rise 60%

Chinese search engine operator Baidu Inc (百度) said yesterday its latest quarterly profit rose 60 percent, but revenue growth slowed as the economy cooled. The Beijing-based company said that profit for the three months ending Sept. 30 was 3 billion yuan (US$478.6 million). Revenue rose 49.7 percent to 6.3 billion yuan, but that growth was down from the previous quarter’s 60 percent.

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