Shoemaker resumes work
Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings Ltd (裕元), a Taiwanese-owned maker of shoes for clients including Adidas AG and Nike Inc, said production at its Dongguan factory in China has resumed fully after being disrupted by a strike that began on April 14. “All operations have returned to normal,” George Liu (劉鴻志), a Hong Kong-based spokesman for the manufacturer, said yesterday by telephone. All of the workers at the factory, which has about 45,000 employees, have returned to work, he said. Employees in Dongguan struck over benefits and pay for about 10 days. The stoppage cost Yue Yuen about US$27 million, including lost profit and additional air-freight costs, the Hong Kong-based company said on Friday last week. The settlement for the dispute will raise employee costs by about US$31 million this year, it said.
Alstom halts trading
French engineering group Alstom SA said on Sunday that it has suspended trading in its shares as expectations grew for a possible bidding war between industrial giants General Electric Co and Siemens AG. The announcement came after French President Francois Hollande held a special meeting with senior ministers to discuss the future of the beleaguered firm, once considered a jewel of French industry that has fallen on hard times. Germany’s Siemens earlier in the day said it wanted to discuss strategic opportunities with Alstom, which it pursued without success a decade ago, after reports that US giant GE was seeking to buy the company’s power generation arm.
Philips, Gibson ink deal
Dutch technology company Royal Philips Electronics NV says it has struck a deal with music company Gibson Brands of the US to sell its audiovisual equipment business for US$135 million.
The companies said the deal makes sense as Gibson is big in Japan and the US, while Philips is strong in Europe, China and Latin America. The audiovisual equipment business employs about 1,900 people and makes home audio systems, headphones, speakers, portable audio and video players, media players, telephones and more. It turned a marginal US$4.1 million profit last year, on sales of US$1.3 billion.
UK market uptick widens
Britain’s housing market recovery spread further beyond London this month as prices rose in more parts of England and Wales outside the capital than at any time over the last decade, a survey showed yesterday. Asking prices for houses in England and Wales rose 0.6 percent this month, the same pace as last month, according to the survey of estate agents and surveyors from Hometrack. The report showed 48 percent of postcode districts outside London reported rising house prices, the highest level since June 2004 and three times as high as a year ago.
BG Group CEO resigns
BG Group’s chief executive Chris Finlayson resigned yesterday as the British oil and gas major said production would be at the lower end of its target range this year due to problems in Egypt. The board said it accepted Finlayson’s resignation for personal reasons after just 16 months on the job. Non-executive chairman Andrew Gould would take over at the FTSE 100 firm with immediate effect until a new chief executive was appointed, BG Group said.