Company defaults on bond
The first company in China to default on a corporate bond said yesterday it would sell assets in a bid to meet interest payments as possible bankruptcy looms. Shanghai-based Chaori Solar Energy Science & Technology Co (超日太陽能) on Friday confirmed the landmark default on interest payments of 89.8 million yuan (US$14.7 million) for a five-year bond issued in 2012. The bond’s lead underwriter and trustee, China Securities Co (中原證券), had asked Chaori to provide immovable assets, equipment and accounts receivable to be sold or auctioned. Chaori might undergo restructuring or bankruptcy proceedings if it fails to repay debts, the company said in a filing to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
More bitcoin protection
The troubled bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox filed for protection under US bankruptcy law on Monday, 10 days after doing the same in Japan after a huge loss of the digital currency, a court document showed. The Japanese firm is now protected temporarily under Chapter 15 of US bankruptcy law for foreign firms. A US bankruptcy court in Dallas, Texas, accepted the request and will make a definitive ruling next month, the document said.
IBM must ‘resolve strike’
Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) said it was up to IBM to resolve a wildcat strike at a China-based factory, as a deal to buy the US company’s server business had yet to be finalized. In a statement posted on its Web site late on Monday, Lenovo said the strike was an internal matter for IBM, but it also pledged to maintain the salaries and benefits of all workers that chose to stay with the company after the deal is completed. More than 7,500 IBM employees in more than 60 countries were expected to transfer to Lenovo once the deal is completed, Lenovo said.
Germany’s surplus narrows
Germany’s trade surplus narrowed slightly in January as imports grew faster than exports, official data showed yesterday. In seasonally adjusted terms, Germany exported goods worth 94.5 billion euros (US$131 billion) in January, up from 92.5 billion euros in December last year, the German federal statistics office Destatis said in a statement. Imports rose more strongly, to 77.3 billion euros from 74.2 billion euros. That meant the seasonally adjusted trade surplus decreased.
Biggest banana firm formed
Chiquita Brands International, the US fresh food giant, and Ireland’s Fyffes said on Monday they would merge to create the world’s biggest banana company. The transaction will create a combined company valued at US$1.07 billion named ChiquitaFyffes, a fresh produce company with annual revenue of US$4.6 billion, the companies said in a joint statement. The all-stock deal values the Irish company at US$526 million.
Aberle to head Qualcomm
Qualcomm Inc, the biggest provider of mobile-phone chips, promoted Derek Aberle to president, naming a second-in-command to new chief executive officer Steve Mollenkopf. Aberle, 43, was an executive vice president in charge of Qualcomm’s technology licensing business, which generates about two-thirds of profit, the company said in a statement on Monday. The unit has more than doubled its earnings and revenue with Aberle in charge, Qualcomm said.