Tue, Jan 14, 2014 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

DEFENSE

US probes Honeywell part

Defense contractor Honeywell International Inc said on Sunday it is cooperating with a US Department of Justice probe into the overseas prod uction of equipment it provided for a US fighter jet. The US government inquiry involves electronics that Honeywell manufactured for the government’s new F-35 fighter planes, which are designed to be the military’s most advanced combat jets. Honeywell spokesman Scott Sayres said the Morristown, New Jersey-based company produced the component for the F-35 in China “for a short period of time,” but then voluntarily moved production to the US in 2012 after consulting with the US Department of Defense.

OIL

Sinopec to pay for Qingdao

Chinese state-owned oil giant Sinopec (中國石化) will pay compensation over a pipeline explosion in November last year at its facility in the city of Qingdao that killed dozens of people and caused losses of more than US$100 million, it said. Sinopec is listed in Hong Kong and in a filing to the stock exchange there, said that an official Chinese government investigation determined that “direct economic loss” from the accident totalled 751.72 million yuan (US$124.3 million). The company said it “will pay its share of the compensation,” although it did not say how much that would be, or what proportion of it would go directly to victims of the disaster, which killed 62 people and injured 136.

AUTOMAKERS

GM to reintroduce dividend

General Motors Co’s (GM) chief financial officer said on Sunday that the US automaker is close to reintroducing a common stock dividend, but he declined to provide any details on timing. “It’s clear to us that investors are anticipating a dividend,” Dan Ammann, who is set to become GM president on Thursday, said on the sidelines of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. “We’re closer than we have been given all the actions that we have taken, investment grade rating, all of that. When we have something to announce we’ll do it.” GM last paid a dividend on its common stock in May 2008.

AUTOMAKERS

BMW sells record cars

German carmaker BMW said yesterday it sold more cars than ever before last year and it aims to top that number again this year. BMW said in a statement it sold 1.964 million vehicles last year, “an increase of 6.4 percent from the previous record year of 2012.” The group owns three brands, BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce and also manufactures motorbikes. Global sales of the BMW brand alone rose by 7.5 percent to 1.655 million units. The group also sold a total 305,030 Minis worldwide and Rolls-Royce sales were up 1.5 percent at 3,630.

RETAIL

Metro sales hit

German retail and distribution giant Metro said yesterday that sales were down in the three months to December, hit by the strong euro and weak Christmas sales. Metro, which runs its business year from October to September, said that first-quarter sales declined by 3.3 percent to 18.7 billion euros (US$25.6 billion). The decline was “mainly due to negative currency effects in many parts of Eastern Europe and Asia,” as well as the lost revenues from the recently divested Real supermarkets in Russia, Romania and Ukraine and the Media Markt chain in China, the statement said.

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