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Mon, May 08, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Electronic
Fujitsu eyes N America

Japanese computer maker Fujitsu will create a holding company by March 2008 to oversee its seven units in North America in an effort to have a bigger slice of the market there, a report of the business daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun said yesterday. The new unified structure will allow the subsidiaries to share customer bases and technologies in order to market their devices and systems in package deals, the report said. Fujitsu Ltd aims to triple its sales over the next five years in North America -- which accounts for 40 percent of the global information technology market -- to ¥1.2 trillion (US$10.5 billion), the report said. Closer cooperation among the seven units through the holding company is expected to boost sales by ¥240 billion, the daily added. The subsidiaries include Fujitsu Computer Systems Corp, which sells servers and other computer equipment, and Fujitsu Consulting, a provider of management and technology consulting.

■ Automobiles

GM said mulling UK job cuts

General Motors Corp may cut almost 1,000 jobs at a Vauxhall plant as the world's largest automaker tries to deal with falling demand for the Astra, the Sunday Times reported, citing unspecified people close to the car industry. The job cuts are just one of the options at Ellesmere Port in Merseyside, northern England, where some of the Astras are built, and executives will continue talks with union leaders and plant bosses this week. No decisions have yet been taken, and job losses in the UK, or on such a scale, could still be avoided, the Sunday Times said.

■ Automobiles

Proton talking to Peugeot

Malaysian national auto manufacturer Proton is in talks with France's Peugeot, Europe's second-largest carmaker, to jointly develop a car for the Southeast Asian market, a news report said yesterday. Both sides are likely to sign a memorandum of understanding in a few months, which might also see PSA Peugeot Citroen SA taking up an equity stake in Proton Holdings Bhd, the Edge business weekly reported, quoting unidentified sources. The car would be marketed as a Proton or a Peugeot/Citroen, the Edge said, adding analysts expect it to be a compact car. Once dominant in Malaysia's auto sector, Proton has lost ground to foreign car makers, with its domestic market share down from around 60 percent in 2002 to 41 percent last year.

■ Electronics

Dell plans Malaysia center

US computer giant Dell Inc will set up a technology and development center in Malaysia's high-tech city Cyberjaya, news reports said yesterday. Dell announced the decision during a visit to the company's headquarters in Round Rock, Texas by Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Friday where he met with Dell's founder and chairman Michael Dell and chief executive Kevin Rollins. "Dell's global growth and need for additional development activity, coupled with the success of our Malaysian facilities since 1995, gives us confidence that this new facility will enhance our ability to deliver the industry's best value and customer experience," the national news agency, Bernama, quoted Rollins as saying. The center will be involved in value-added activities, including process design and software development, and employ as many as 1,000 people, Bernama said.

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