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Tue, Nov 14, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Food
Hershey products recalled

A variety of Hershey chocolate products and candies in Canada were voluntarily recalled on Sunday because of fears of salmonella contamination at a factory. There have been no reported illnesses associated with the products, Hershey Co said in a statement. Hershey brand chocolate bars, chocolate chips, Oh Henry! bars, Reese Peanut Butter Cups and Cherry Blossom sweets were among the products recalled. Canadian Food Inspection Agency officials said they were told by Hershey that it did not appear there was a widespread delivery of the affected products to stores. The recall involves chocolate produced at the Smiths Falls, Ontario, factory between Oct. 15 and Nov. 10.

■ Telecoms

Motorola nails China order

Motorola Inc, the world's second-largest maker of cellphones, said it received a US$1.6 billion order to sell handsets to China Telling Communications Co (天音通信). The contract for the order was to be signed yesterday in Beijing, Michael Tatelman, Motorola's North Asia general manager, said without giving details.

■ Energy

Hitachi, GE in nuke venture

Japan's Hitachi and US-based General Electric (GE) plan to form a joint venture in the nuclear power business in Japan and US, Hitachi said yesterday in a statement. The two companies had signed a letter of intent for a joint strategic tie-up on advanced boiling water reactors. Hitachi will own 80 percent of the Japan-based venture, compared with 20 percent by GE. Hitachi will hold 40 percent in the US-based business, while GE will have 60 percent, the company said. The release did not give details on how much money the companies would be investing. Other details on how the venture will be set up or what the timeline will be will be worked out later, Hitachi said.

■ Japan

Current account surplus up

The nation's current account surplus in September rose 9.4 percent from a year ago, expanding for a third straight month owing in part to healthy exports as the country's economy recovers, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday. The surplus in the current account, the broadest measure of Japan's trade with the world, rose to ?2.025 trillion (US$17.3 billion) in September before seasonal adjustment, the data showed. That increase was larger than expected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones, who forecast an increase of 8.5 percent. The jump followed increases of 22.2 percent in August and 7.1 percent in July. The current account measures trade in goods, services, tourism and investment.

■ Construction

CEO quits over options

KB Home, the fifth-largest US homebuilder by revenue, said CEO Bruce Karatz is leaving after an internal investigation found he incorrectly dated stock-options grants. Chief operating officer Jeffrey Mezger will succeed Karatz as CEO, Los Angeles-based KB Home said in a statement sent by Business Wire yesterday. Karatz, who spent 34 years at the company, has agreed to pay back about US$13 million to KB Home, it said in the statement. In August, the company started reviewing options awarded in 1999 to Karatz. The probe found that Karatz and Gary Ray, head of human resources, selected grant dates for options, KB Home said yesterday. Ray was fired and Richard Hirst resigned as chief legal officer, according to the statement.

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