Hugo Boss mulls jewelry
German fashion house Hugo Boss is considering launching its own jewelry collection for both men and women, chairman Bruno Saelzer said in a newspaper interview published yesterday. "We're in the process of examining a move into the jewelry business. We're already quite far advanced," Saelzer told the Financial Times Deutschland. "Jewelry makes sense for women, but also increasingly for men. Men are increasingly open for jewelry," he added.
Palm oil giant takes shape
Three Malaysian plantation firms will merge to create the world's largest listed palm oil business, worth 31.4 billion ringgit (US$8.6 billion), under a plan announced yesterday. A new vehicle, Synergy Drive, will buy the assets and liabilities of Sime Darby Bhd, Golden Hope Plantations Bhd and Kumpulan Guthrie Bhd, Malaysia's top investment bank CIMB said. Analysts said the merger will boost the country's status as a top palm oil producer amid growing regional competition.
Yuan marks new high
China's currency rose to a fresh high against the US dollar yesterday, as the central bank set its rate at 7.8402 yuan per US dollar, the highest level since the current exchange system was set up in July last year. Traders said the US dollar's slide to a 19-month low against the euro in international markets on Friday might have helped trigger the US unit's slip against the yuan. The US dollar was at 7.8423 at around 7:30 GMT, down from Friday's close of 7.8525. On the automatic price-matching system, another way of measuring the exchange rate, it was at 7.8413 at 7:20 GMT. China allows the US dollar-yuan rate to move no more than 0.3 percent above or below the daily parity rate. Beijing has allowed the yuan's value to rise by about 3.3 percent since it revalued the currency in July last year, severing the yuan's virtual peg with the US dollar.
■ Digital cameras
Sony offers limited recall
Sony Corp expects only a small number of its digital cameras to be affected by the glitch announced last week, a spokesman said yesterday. Sony said on Friday that some Cyber-shot camera users may have problems viewing images when trying to take photographs due to a glitch with the image sensor. The affected cameras were sold between September 2003 and January last year, the electronics giant said. "Of the eight models affected, if the problems appear we will implement a free repair and exchange service," a Sony spokesman said.
Paris wants EADS control
The French government is seeking to take control of European aerospace giant EADS by pushing for a capital increase to finance development of the new A350 long-haul jet, German newspapers reported yesterday. Paris surprised the industrial shareholders of the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co -- namely DaimlerChrysler which holds a stake of 22.5 percent and French group Lagardere which holds 7.5 percent -- by proposing a capital hike to finance the A350, the business daily Handelsblatt reported. It said that DaimlerChrysler and Lagardere both rejected the idea. But if the capital increase went ahead and they refused to participate, then France, which holds 15 percent of EADS via Sogeade, would effectively gain a dominant position in the company's share capital.