Zijin fined for toxic spill
The Zijin Mining Group (紫金礦業集團), one of China’s biggest gold producers, has been ordered to pay 30 million yuan (US$4.62 million)a by a local court in Fujian Province for a toxic spill last year that caused severe environmental pollution. Long Yan City court also issued prison terms ranging from three years to 42 months to five of Zijin’s staff, who were found to be involved in the incident, Zijin said in a statement yesterday. The leak of wastewater containing acidic copper from its Zijinshan Copper Mine spilled into the Ting River in July, killing or poisoning thousands of fish and affecting water supplies for about 60,000 people.
Siemens Q2 profit surges
German industrial giant Siemens yesterday reported a healthy rise in net profit for its second quarter ending March and raised its earnings forecast for the current fiscal year. Second-quarter net profit was 2.8 billion euros (US$4.1 billion), up from 1.5 billion euros in the year-earlier period. Sales rose 7 percent to 17.7 billion euros, while orders surged 28 percent to 20.7 billion euros. “We’ve achieved outstanding, broad-based order growth. We’re raising our earnings forecast for fiscal 2011 to at least 7.5 billion euros,” CEO Peter Loescher said in a statement.
BNP profit up on lower costs
BNP Paribas yesterday announced a 14.6 percent rise in first-quarter net profit to 2.62 billion from 2.28 billion euros a year earlier. The company attributed the strong performance in part to the reduced cost of its risks: It had 919 million euros of outstanding customer loans, down 418 million euros on the same period last year. It also made further cost savings from the integration of its 2009 acquisition of Fortis and strong performances from all its units, it said.
BMW sales boost profits
German luxury carmaker BMW said net profit in the first quarter rose strongly to 1.21 billion euros, as sales rose all around the world, particularly in China. That’s up from last year’s 324 million euros. Revenues rose 29 percent to 16.04 billion euros. Sales of the company’s BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce brands rose 13 percent in Europe, 17 percent in North America and 72 percent in China.
RIM to use Microsoft’s Bing
Research In Motion (RIM) will use Microsoft’s Bing services on new BlackBerry smartphones. Microsoft Corp CEO Steve Ballmer made the announcement on Tuesday at RIM’s annual BlackBerry World conference in Orlando, Florida. Bing director Matt Dahlin outlined the plans on the Bing Search Blog, saying that BlackBerrys shipped to wireless carriers would use Bing as its default search and map services. Bing will be the BlackBerry browser’s preferred search engine. RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet already uses Bing for search and maps.
Amazon debuts sales site
Amazon on Tuesday unveiled a membership-only private sales site called Myhabit.com offering designer and boutique brands. The Seattle, Washington-based online retail giant said Myhabit.com would offer up to 60 percent off list prices on selected fashion products, such as designer clothing through daily events. “Myhabit gives fashion customers an elegant and easy-to-use online destination for private sale shopping,” Myhabit president Maria Renz said in a statement.