HSBC eyes `greater China'
HSBC Holdings Plc, the world's third-biggest bank by market value, said it plans to hire 600 employees next year to expand its commercial banking business in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. About half of hires will be in Hong Kong, while the bank's China arms add 270 and Taiwan eight to 12, said Margaret Leung, global co-head commercial banking, at a briefing yesterday in Taipei. "Greater China is the area of growth" in commercial banking, Leung said. "We expect no slower profit growth next year than each market's gross domestic product growth" of about 9 percent for China and 4 percent for Taiwan, she said.
`Hanlissy' makers fined
Two Chinese drink companies have been ordered to pay a 300,000-yuan (US$37,000) fine and apologize to French cognac maker Moet Hennessy for trademark violations, state press said yesterday. Distributor Zhuhai Xiangmutong Trading Co and bottler Xiamen Golden Huanya Food Co infringed on the Hennessy trademark by selling their own version of cognac under the name "Hanlissy," the Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court said. The court found the similarity of the Hanlissy name and the resemblance in labeling to the original Hennessy was meant to mislead consumers, according to a Shanghai Daily report. Hennessy, which registered its international brand in China in 1990, found the counterfeit products at French retailer Carrefour in July last year and subsequently sued seeking 500,000 yuan in damages.
Yahoo tests new service
Looking to gain another edge on its rivals, Internet powerhouse Yahoo Inc was to begin testing a new e-mail folder yesterday designed to make it easier for people to track the latest information posted on their favorite Web sites. The free feature relies on Really Simple Syndication (RSS), an increasingly popular technology that can compile content from a wide array of Web sites catering to a user's personal tastes. Millions of people have signed up to receive automatic feeds on everything from the international news to family recipes since Yahoo first began providing its RSS service last year, said Scott Gatz, the company's senior director of personalization products. Until yesterday, Yahoo relied on Web pages as its RSS hub. RSS feeds will still be accessible through Yahoo's Web site.
GE to buy Chile power lines
US-based General Electric Co is making its first investment in power transmission lines abroad, part of a strategy to step up business in developing countries and diversify its energy holdings. The industrial and financial services giant announced on Tuesday that it will spend US$24.4 million in a partnership to buy three transmission lines in Chile. "I think this is going to be the first of many. It depends upon finding the right country. GE as a company has made a commitment to grow in emerging economies," said Stephen Petricone, a managing director of GE Energy Financial Services. GE expects 60 percent of its growth in the next decade to come from developing countries. Under the agreement, GE will acquire an 80 percent stake in a partnership with Abengoa, a Spanish engineering company that built and operates the transmission lines.