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Sat, Nov 15, 2008 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ BANKING

Dexia reports huge Q3 loss

Bailed out Franco-Belgian bank Dexia said yesterday it suffered a third-quarter loss of 1.54 billion euros (US$1.96 billion) as a result of the financial crisis. Dexia said losses directly linked to the crisis totaled 2.19 billion euros, while revenue in the three months to September came to only 315 million euros. It blamed some 482 million euros of losses on the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers in September and said it aimed to reduce costs by 15 percent over the next three years in a restructuring program.

■CASINOS

Thousands to lose jobs

As many as 11,000 workers will lose their jobs after a cash crunch forced struggling casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp to halt construction on multibillion-dollar projects, company officials said. Ron Reese, a Sands spokesman in Las Vegas, Nevada, said the workers were largely employed by contractors and subcontractors. About 2,000 are from Macau, the rest from Hong Kong, China and other countries, said Stephen Weaver, Sands’ president for Asia. Sands will give preference to Macanese workers and pay them as it assesses whether they can be relocated to other Sands’ projects, though they likely will lose their jobs, Weaver said. To be suspended in Macau are a Shangri-La/Traders hotel tower, a Sheraton hotel tower and three casinos at two sites on the Cotai Strip.

■GAMING

Nintendo still dominant

NPD Group reported on Thursday that Nintendo’s Wii and DS continued to dominate videogame system sales in the US last month. The Japanese maker of videogame hardware and software saw sales rise 25.7 percent last month as compared to the same month last year despite dismal economic conditions in the US. Nintendo sold 803,210 Wii consoles and nearly half a million of its DS handheld gaming devices in the US last month, NPD said. The figures lifted overall sales of Wii consoles to 13.35 million and to 23.02 million for DS devices, making them the best selling videogame hardware in the current generation of offerings, Nintendo said.

■BANKING

Citi not seeking new boss

As Citigroup Inc’s shares sank to 13-year lows below US$9 a share, the bank denied a report on Thursday that it was looking for a new chairman. “Any report that the board is searching for a new chairman is false,” said Citigroup spokeswoman Christina Pretto. The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that some Citigroup board members are increasingly dissatisfied with the company’s performance and are considering replacing chairman Sir Win Bischoff. The board named Bischoff chairman in December after ousting former CEO and chairman Charles Prince.

■AVIATION

EADS bounces back

Airbus parent company European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co NV (EADS) said yesterday that it rebounded to a profit in the third quarter thanks to lower costs for restructuring and fewer delays to aircraft programs. But it warned that continued setbacks in production of its military transporter would make achieving its full-year target challenging. EADS made a net profit of 679 million euros in the three months to September compared with a 776 million euro loss a year ago. Last year’s earnings had been hammered by charges for delays to the Airbus A350 long-haul jet and the A400 military transporter, as well as by Airbus’ so-called Power-8 restructuring plan.

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