Sat, Sep 20, 2014 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take



GSK fined for bribery

A Chinese court yesterday fined British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 3 billion yuan (US$490 million) following a nearly year-long bribery probe, the company said. The fine, levied by the Changsha Intermediate People’s Court after a closed hearing in Hunan Province, was the largest ever handed down by a Chinese court, Xinhua news agency said. Chinese authorities had accused GSK employees of bribing hospitals, doctors and health institutions to gain billions of dollars in illegal revenue. The Changsha court also sentenced British national Mark Reilly, the former head of GSK’s China operations, and an unstated number of other company officials to between two to four years in prison.


Italy GDP to shrink 0.1%

Italy’s government must overhaul its labor market to kick-start its economy, which is set to shrink for the third year running this year, the IMF said on Thursday. GDP is expected to contract 0.1 percent, the Washington-based fund said in a report, cutting its previous forecast that Italy’s economy would expand by 0.3 percent. Unemployment is set to average a record 12.6 percent, the IMF predicted.


S Africa bank chief quitting

South African Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus on Thursday announced that she would not stay in the job after her term expires in November. Marcus, 65, became the bank’s first female governor in late 2009, guiding Africa’s most developed economy out of a recession in the wake of the global economic meltdown. South African President Jacob Zuma’s government said that a replacement would be named “in due course.”


SAP to acquire Concur

German business software maker SAP said it would buy travel and expense management software company Concur Technologies for US$129 per share, or about US$7.36 billion. That represents a premium of 19.7 percent to Concur’s closing price on Thursday. SAP values the deal at US$8.3 billion. It said the acquisition should close in the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of next year, assuming Concur shareholders approve the sale. SAP says Concur has 25 million users in 150 countries.


JetBlue to see CEO change

JetBlue Airways Corp CEO Dave Barger is to step down in February and be replaced by the company’s president after months of speculation about leadership at the airline, which is profitable, but has lagged its rivals. Barger has been CEO since 2007. The new CEO, just the third in JetBlue’s 14-year history, will be Robin Hayes, a 48-year-old former British Airways executive who joined JetBlue in 2008. Hayes will take over on Feb. 16, after Barger’s contract expires.


Puerto Rico plans project

Puerto Rico’s government has announced the construction of a US$108 million real-estate development project as the island tries to emerge from a nearly decade-long economic slump with help from US investors. New York real-estate developer Nicholas Prouty said on Thursday that his firm would build 252 apartments as part of the third phase of a mixed-use complex considered the largest in Puerto Rico. His Putnam Bridge Holding LLC will also build 4,645m2 of commercial space.

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