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Thu, May 15, 2008 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

■ RETAIL

Tesco to buy Homever stores

Tesco PLC, the largest grocer in the UK, said yesterday that it is buying 36 Homever stores in South Korea for £958 million (US$1.87 billion), including existing debt. The deal to buy the shops from E-Land Group is subject to regulatory approval. Tesco’s South Korean unit, Samsung Tesco, currently operates 66 Homeplus hypermarkets and 72 Homeplus Express stores. Tesco intends to convert most of the Homever stores to the Homeplus format within a year.

■ RETAIL

Carrefour’s China profits rise

French retailing giant Carrefour, recently under fire in China from protesters opposed to French policy on Tibet, said on Tuesday that first quarter sales in China were at their best levels since 2001. Carrefour reported that revenue overall rose 10.2 percent to 23.4 billion euros (US$36 billion) in the first three months of the year from the same period last year, driven by activities in Asia and Latin America. Sales in China in the quarter surged 18.5 percent to 1 billion euros. “Chinese operations registered their best performance since 2001 ... in both food and non-food activities,” the company said. Hundreds of protesters gathered earlier this month at Carrefour outlets in several Chinese cities, state press reports said.

■ AUTOMOBILES

Toyota may build new plant

Toyota Motor Corp said yesterday it was considering building a new plant to make low-cost, small cars for emerging markets. The automaker, which has announced plans to open a small-car plant in India, is in the early stage of planning for a second factory in an emerging country, a company spokeswoman said on condition of anonymity, citing policy. Toyota has not decided details such as the location, production capacity and the timeline for the plant, she said. The Tokyo Shimbun regional newspaper reported yesterday that Toyota is eyeing a factory in Brazil for a launch in 2011 for the fast-growing auto markets in South America.

■ ELECTRONICS

Samsung CEO resigns

Samsung Electronics Co, Asia’s largest maker of chips, mobile phones and flat screens, said chief executive officer Yun Jong-yong resigned after more than a decade on the job. Lee Yoon-woo, 61, formerly the chief representative of the external relations team, was named new chief executive officer, Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Yun, 64, who will remain with the company as an adviser, quit as he believed “it was the right time” to let someone take over, Samsung said. The reshuffle, which is effective immediately, follows the resignation of Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-hee from the board of Samsung Electronics, after he was charged with tax evasion and breach of duty last month.

■ CLOTHING

Nike may buy Asian rival

Nike Inc could buy a Chinese or Japanese rival to strengthen its presence in Asia, the brand president of the world’s largest maker of athletic footwear and apparel told a German newspaper. Asked in an interview with Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung whether Nike planned to buy an Asian brand such as China’s Li Ning, brand president Charlie Denson said: “There could indeed be a takeover in China or Japan. However, our main focus is first to build Nike up in China,” he was quoted as saying in the newspaper yesterday. “The strengthening of our other brands there, such as Converse or Umbro, will follow.”

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