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Fri, Oct 10, 2003 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■Electronics

Philips shifts jobs to Poland

Royal Philips Electronics NV, Europe's biggest consumer-electronics maker, will move between 500 and 600 Dutch jobs to Poland by 2006, Het Financieele Dagblad said, citing CFO Jan Hommen. The company plans to relocate jobs in financial administration, purchasing and human resources, concentrating those tasks in Lodz, Poland, as part of a program to cut costs by 1 billion euros (US$1.2 billion), the newspaper reported. Philips is moving to Lodz because the city has a surplus of inexpensive and well-educated workers, Hommen told the paper. The CFO said he doesn't exclude firings in the Netherlands, the newspaper reported. Philips wants its financial administration center to be operational with about 300 employees next year, Hommen told the paper.

■ Medicine

GE bids for Amersham

US conglomerate General Electric has approached British medical equipment firm Amersham over a possible takeover, The Wall Street Journal Europe reported yesterday. GE's overture to the British medical imaging group was still "very preliminary" but was likely to provoke other bids, the newspaper said, quoting people familiar with the situation. The British company, a member of the FTSE 100 index of top London shares, revealed Wednesday that it had received a takeover approach from an unnamed suitor, sending its shares soaring as high as 24 percent at one point. Amersham, which employs over 10,000 people worldwide and had sales of ¥1.62 billion (US$2.69 billion) last year, declined to name the possible bidder, leaving analysts to speculate about its identity.

■ Automobiles

Lexus is `best luxury car'

Consumer Reports magazine said Wednesday that its reviewers identified Toyota's Lexus LS430 as the best luxury sedan in a review of five similar vehicles for its November issue. The Lexus scored higher than the Audi A8L, the Jaguar XJ8, the BMW 745Li, and the Mercedes-Benz S430 -- which at US$82,760, retails for US$12,000 more than the Lexus. "The Lexus LS430 is refined, comfortable, and relaxing to drive," said David Champion, director of Consumer Reports' auto test facility. The magazine described the Lexus and the Mercedes as "two of the most comfortable-riding cars," reviewers have road-tested, but said the Lexus has more intuitive, easier-to-use controls than the Mercedes model. The buyers' guide recommended the Lexus to readers based on its performance in Consumer Reports tests and its reliability record.

■ Labor

Singapore gets black marks

Singapore employers lack vision, moral values, a challenging spirit and attitude of self-sacrifice compared with their international counterparts, a study said on Thursday. About 1,000 workers in the city-state from various public and private organizations were polled. The study was sponsored by The Gallup Organization, the Singapore Institute of Management and The Gallup Leadership Institute. Employers were evaluated appreciably lower on all the key areas that drive workforce innovation, engagement and performance, compared with their counterparts in the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The employers were rated as less visionary, less optimistic, less innovative, more selfish, and less ethical.

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