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Sat, May 03, 2003 - Page 12 News List

World business quick take

E-commerce

Company fined for spam

A Danish company was convicted and fined Thursday for sending unsolicited commercial e-mail, known as spam, the first such case in the Scandinavian country of 5.3 million. The Maritime and Commercial Court in Copenhagen fined Fonn Danmark 15,000 kroner (US$2,206) for sending 156 unsolicited commercial e-mails during 2002. The small software company was convicted of violating Denmark's law prohibiting the sending of unsolicited advertising e-mail and faxes. The law was enacted in July 2000. The ruling can be appealed. No one at Fonn Danmark was immediately available for comment. Denmark's government-run Consumer Agency sued the company after it received 50 complaints.

Employment

Jobless at eight-year high

The US unemployment rate probably approached an eight-year high in April as the economy lost jobs for a third consecutive month, economists said in advance of today's government report. Companies likely eliminated 60,000 jobs last month, based on the median of 67 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey, bringing the three-month decline to 525,000. The unemployment rate is forecast to have risen a tenth of a percent to 5.9 percent, close to the eight-year high of 6 percent reached in December. Companies and government agencies have cut payrolls to control costs, prompted by rising budget deficits and weak demand linked partly to concerns about the Iraq war and terrorism.

Finance

Relocation study released

US banks, brokers, insurance and other financial groups plan to move 500,000 jobs overseas in the next five years, with India the most enticing target, a study showed Thursday. Relocations were expected to save 30 billion dollars a year in operating costs, said the study by management consulting firm A.T. Kearney. The firm issued its own ranking of countries already hosting multinationals and offering mature technology, a skilled labor force, expectations of future development and scope for expansion. They were ranked according to cost, environment and people. India was selected as the best choice for offshore business processing, followed by Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Philippines, Hungary, Ireland, Czech Republic, Australia, Russia and China.

Aviation

JAL, ANA get financial aid

The state-run Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) said yesterday it is considering giving emergency financial aid to the country's two major airlines to ease the impact of SARS and the Iraq war. The DBJ said any aid for Japan Airlines System (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) would be in the form of low interest loans, but it did not give a figure on the amount and there was no indication of the time frame for such a move. In April, JAL passenger numbers were down more than 30 percent, or more than 300,000 people, while numbers in March were down 14 percent, or some 150,000 passengers, said JAL group spokesman Yuji Fujita. In announcing its annual results Wednesday, Japan's second-ranked carrier ANA said its revenue would be cut by Japanese Yen 26 billion (US$218.5 million) in the year to next March. Both major Japanese carriers said they would increase regular domestic fares by 11 percent starting in July to deal with the passenger drop.

Agencies

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