Bid for Barneys goes up
Japanese casual clothing giant Fast Retailing has raised its bid for US retailer Barneys New York to US$950 million in cash, trumping an increased offer from Dubai investment firm Istithmar. The swift counter-offer from the Japanese group underscores its determi-nation to snare the celebrated New York retailer as it set its sights on becoming a global player in clothing retailing. "Barneys is a really attractive company to us. It's worth raising our bid," a spokesman for Fast Retailing said yesterday, confirming its latest offer. Barneys owner Jones Apparel Group said in a statement on Sunday its board had backed the increased Fast Retailing offer.
Infineon lowers stake
Infineon Technologies AG said yesterday it aims to lower its stake in Qimonda AG by less than 50 percent within two years. Infineon spun off Qimonda last year, listing it on the New York Stock Exchange, but retains an 86 percent stake in the company that makes chips for PCs. Investors have long urged that ties be cut, in part to avoid the vicissitudes of that cyclical industry. Last month, Infineon posted a wider third-quarter loss of 197 million euros (US$270 million) in part because of losses at Qimonda that totaled 218 million euros.
Warren Spector resigns
Senior executive Warren Spector announced his resignation from the investment banker Bear Stearns, shaken by troubles linked to the fraught US subprime mortgage market, the firm said on Sunday. "Warren J. Spector has resigned his positions of president and co-chief operating officer, member of the executive committee and member of the board of directors of Bear Stearns," chief executive James Cayne said in a statement. In giving up the co-presidency, Spector cedes the role to the other co-president, Alan Schwartz. Bear Stearns Asset Management suffered a disastrous blow last month when it announced that two hedge funds overseen by Spector were wiped out, losing up to US$1.6 billion of investors' capital.
Protecting personal data
Beijing will soon introduce its first law on protecting personal data, amid rising anger at how easily people's private details are falling into the hands of advertisers, state media reported yesterday. Such a law has become necessary as more and more people find their personal information, such as mobile phone numbers, home addresses and even medical records, disclosed to unauthorized parties, the China Daily said. A draft law, which has been submitted to the Cabinet, sets out the legal duties of companies and other entities that have personal data, Zhou Hanhua, who helped draw-up the legislation, was quoted as saying.
JAL still in the red
Japan Airlines (JAL) said yesterday it remained in the red in the first quarter of the fiscal year but reduced its net loss by more than sixfold through layoffs, route cuts and a shift to smaller planes. Asia's largest carrier, which has been axing thousands of jobs, maintained its forecast for a return to profit this year after two straight annual losses that followed a series of safety scares. Net losses shrank to ¥4.29 billion (US$36.5 million) in the three months to June from ¥26.78 billion a year earlier, a JAL statement said.