Yahoo hit with judgement
Yahoo said on Friday it was ordered to pay US$2.7 billion by a Mexican court in a lawsuit stemming from allegations of breach of contract and lost profits related to a yellow pages listing service. The US Internet giant said in a statement it “believes the plaintiffs’ claims are without merit and will vigorously pursue all appeals.” The California-based company’s statement offered few details on the case. It said the 49th Civil Court of the Federal District of Mexico City has “entered a non-final judgment of US$2.7 billion against Yahoo Inc and Yahoo de Mexico” in the case. The lawsuit was brought by Worldwide Directories SA de CV and Ideas Interactivas, and “alleged claims of breach of contract, breach of promise, and lost profits arising from contracts related to a yellow pages listings service,” Yahoo said.
Metro to sell hypermarkets
German retailer Metro AG is selling its Real hypermarkets in eastern Europe to French rival Auchan in a 1.1 billion euro (US$1.4 billion) deal to cut debt and focus on expanding its cash and carry, and consumer electronics stores. Auchan, controlled by the Mulliez family, one of France’s wealthiest, said the deal would double its store presence in central and eastern Europe, a key area for development. Metro has long wanted to sell its Real hypermarkets with their low food margins and is under pressure to raise cash after a profit warning in October prompted ratings downgrades by Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. The deal will allow Metro to cut net debt by 1.5 billion euros. It will be released from a 900 million euro debt burden stemming from long-term rental contracts and receive 600 million euros cash.
Demand boost lifts exports
Exports rose for a second month on stronger global demand, evidence that a recovery in growth is taking hold even as gains in the won threaten to sap its momentum. Overseas shipments rose 3.9 percent last month from a year earlier, after a revised 1.1 percent gain in October, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said in a statement yesterday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 14 economists was for a 1.6 percent gain. The outlook for the economy has improved with that of its largest trading partners, while the won’s top performance among Asian currencies since June has threatened to curtail overseas sales. Chinese data from factory production to retail sales shows growth in the world’s second-largest economy picking up this quarter. “Signs of stabilization in Asian economic activity, led by China, have begun to emerge,” Ronald Man, a Hong Kong-based analyst at HSBC Holdings PLC said before the report. “In turn, demand for Korean goods is set to pick up gradually over the coming months.”
Toyota in retirement offers
Toyota Motor Corp said it is making early retirement offers to about 2,000 of its veteran US employees, most of whom work at its Georgetown, Kentucky, plant. “As we look at the next two years, a large contingent of those team members in the US, particularly in Kentucky, will be thinking about exiting the company due to 25 years of service,” the company said in a statement to employees on Thursday. “This program offers a strategic approach to managing for this condition.”