Employment rises sharply
The number of employed people rose sharply last month from a year ago, even as the national jobless rate increased from the previous month, government data showed yesterday. The total number of employed people stood at 24.82 million last month, up 835,000 from a year earlier, Statistics Korea said. It marked the largest on-year expansion in job creation since March 2002. However, the seasonally adjusted jobless rate stood at 3.9 percent last month, an increase of 3.2 percent from January.
Alibaba buys into TV firm
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (阿里巴巴) is expanding into media by acquiring control of a Hong Kong film and television company, ChinaVision (文化中國), for US$804 million. Alibaba Group will buy new shares giving it a 60 percent stake in the TV company, ChinaVision Media Group Ltd said in a statement. Alibaba is allied with two ChinaVision board members whose stake is diluted to about 11 percent from 27 percent. ChinaVision produces Chinese-language films and television programs and has a unit that develops content for mobile phones.
Disney eyes Maker Studios
Media and entertainment giant Disney is in talks to buy Maker Studios, one of the largest content providers for online video sharing Web site YouTube, a report said on Tuesday. Specialist Web site Re/code cited “people familiar with the negotiations” and said the transaction would value Maker Studios at US$500 million or more. “If it goes through, it would be by far the biggest bet by a traditional media company in a company built on top of YouTube,” the report said.
Cathay Pacific profit triples
Hong Kong flagship carrier Cathay Pacific yesterday said net profit more than tripled last year thanks to a rise in demand from Chinese travelers and fuel cost-saving measures. The airline said profit jumped to HK$2.62 billion (US$338 million) from HK$862 million in 2012 as revenue climbed 1.1 percent to HK$100.5 billion. The 204 percent increase helped the firm recover from a painful 2012, when its bottom line was hammered by the effects of the eurozone crisis as well as persistently high fuel prices.
Lloyds caps some pensions
Lloyds Banking Group said on Tuesday it would cap the pensions of about 35,000 employees in a move that will boost income by ￡1 billion pounds (US$1.66 billion) but risks a backlash from disgruntled employees. Lloyds, 33 percent-owned by the government, said it would stop increases for employees in its final salary pension scheme, many of whom work in its 2,940 branches on relatively modest salaries. The scheme had been closed to new staff for several years but those already in it had been receiving a 2 percent annual increase in their pensionable pay.
EBay cuts compensation
EBay Inc CEO John Donahoe’s total compensation for last year plunged 53 percent compared with 2012, when the company gave him more than US$23 million in stock awards. The company, which is sparring with activist investor Carl Icahn over board seats and its future direction, also gave Donahoe and other executives a lower-than-targeted incentive payment earlier this year. It noted that eBay missed financial targets last year, according to a regulatory filing.