World Business Quick Take

Staff writer, with Agencies

Sat, Aug 17, 2013 - Page 15

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook tests payments

Facebook says it plans to test a mobile payments service that lets users make purchases inside mobile applications using payment information they have added to their account on the social network. Facebook is working on a “very small test” and the company says there is no set schedule for making the service available to users. The service would use payment information that shoppers store on Facebook to automatically complete checkout forms of certain mobile apps. Then, the app would process the purchase. Facebook says the company has a “great relationship with PayPal” and the service will not involve moving payment processing “away from an app’s current payments provider, such as PayPal.”

AUTOMAKERS

GM shuts down in Egypt

General Motors Co (GM) has closed its operations in Egypt indefinitely because of violence in the country. The company said on Thursday it closed its plant in the Cairo suburb of 6th October City, where it makes cars, light trucks and minibuses. It also closed its offices in Cairo. GM has around 1,400 workers in Egypt. In 1983, it became the first private automaker to establish operations in the country. GM said in a statement that its chief concern is for the safety and security of its employees.

AVIATION

Korean Air pays US$65m

South Korea’s largest carrier, Korean Air (KAL), said yesterday it had agreed to pay US$65 million to settle a class-action lawsuit by US passengers over alleged price fixing. Korean Air said it would pay US$39 million in cash and US$26 million in coupons to passengers who have accused the airline of conspiring with local rival Asiana Airlines to establish artificially high prices for travel between South Korea and the US group of passengers launched a lawsuit after the US Department of Justice slapped Korean Air with a US$300 million fine and Asiana with US$50 million over anti-trust violations in 2000.

SHIPPING

Moller-Maersk profit dented

Denmark’s shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk says a drop in freight rates and lower oil production dented its second-quarter profit. Net profit in the period fell 13 percent to 4.9 billion kroner (US$856 million) compared with a year earlier, while revenue dropped 9 percent to 81 billion kroner. The world’s largest container shipping company cautioned that this year is “subject to considerable uncertainty, not least due to developments in the global economy.” It expects full-year net profit to be around US$3.3 billion, below last year’s result of US$4 billion. Maersk shares fell 1.4 percent in early trading yesterday in Copenhagen to 44,760 kroner.

RETAIL

Spain’s richest woman dies

The Spanish company that owns the Zara chain of clothing stores says co-founder Rosalia Mera has died. She was 69 and Spain’s richest woman. Inditex SA did not give details in its statement yesterday about how she died. However, Spanish media widely reported that Mera suffered a stroke while on vacation on the Mediterranean island of Menorca and died on Thursday night in a hospital that she was transported to in northwestern Spain. Mera was a seamstress who helped build Inditex from the clothing store she started with her then-husband, Armancio Ortega. Mera held 5.1 percent of Inditex, and her fortune was estimated by Forbes at US$6.1 billion. The magazine says she was the world’s 195th-richest person.