Tue, Feb 17, 2015 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take



Seoul charges LG executives

South Korean prosecutors charged three executives of LG Electronics Inc with vandalizing high-end washing machines from Samsung Electronics Co at retail shops in Germany last year. Jo Seong-jin, head of the home appliance division, was indicted, along with Cho Han-ki and Chun Myung-woo, LG said in a statement citing Jo’s lawyer, Ham Yoon-keun. The incident occurred ahead of the IFA show in Berlin in September, when a number of Samsung Crystal Blue washing machines, which sell for more than US$2,000, were damaged. The charges are the latest black eye for South Korea’s chaebols, or family-run conglomerates, which dominate the nation’s corporate landscape and have been subject to a long-running debate about their power and influence.


Tesco to fire 10,000: report

Troubled British supermarket giant Tesco PLC could axe as many as 10,000 jobs under plans to shut 43 stores in a company-wide overhaul, according to British media. Tesco, which revealed the closures in January last year, has already confirmed that 2,000 jobs are under threat, but the Sunday Telegraph reported that the figure could be five times higher, as boss Dave Lewis attempts to reverse sliding profits. About 6,000 of the job losses would be from head office and the 43 store closures, with the rest coming from an overhaul of the supermarket’s operating practices, according to the report. Tesco, which has a British workforce of more than 310,000, had unveiled plans to shut unprofitable branches, sell assets and axe its shareholder dividend in a bid to revive its fortunes after an accounting scandal. The group hopes to cut head office costs by 30 percent, saving £250 million (US$384.8 million).


Infosys to buy Panaya

Infosys Ltd, India’s second-largest software services company, agreed to buy Panaya Ltd for US$200 million to help customers automate more business processes. The deal for closely held Panaya is expected to close before the end of next month, Bengaluru, India-based Infosys said in a statement. The price includes equity and assumed debt. Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka is pushing his firm into artificial intelligence technologies and retraining some of the company’s almost 170,000 workers to help clients automate tasks. The former chief technology officer at SAP AG is counting on the moves to help lower costs and allow the company to post industry-leading growth next year. “The acquisition of Panaya is a key step in renewing and differentiating our service lines,” Sikka said in the statement.


Bankers’ pay cut since crisis

Investment bankers earn 25 percent less on average than they did before the financial crisis, while asset managers are taking home 22 percent more, a research firm. Average annual pay for investment bank employees has declined to US$288,000 since 2006, compared with US$263,000 at asset-management firms, New Financial said in a report this month. The sample for the report includes 12 investment banks and 18 asset managers, it said. “One reason for the increase in pay in asset management is that it has remained constant relative to revenues over the past decade,” New Financial said. “At investment banks, staff are taking a shrinking portion of a shrinking pot.” European and US regulators have tightened pay rules to prevent a repeat of the risk-taking that contributed to the 2008 global financial crisis.

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