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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
PROBE LAUNCHED: An officer who served as a supervisor in the drill died in an apparent suicide after the accident, which was caused by unexpected waves Two marines who were on Friday injured in a military exercise in the waters off Kaohsiung passed away yesterday, Navy Command said. The marines — surnamed Tsai (蔡), 26, and a sergeant surnamed Chen (陳), 36 — were in a seven-member Marine Corps team that encountered rough seas during a simulated response to enemy forces landing on Taiwan. Their rubber craft overturned in waters off Taoziyuan (桃子園) beach in Zuoying District (左營), injuring four of the marines. They were rushed to hospital, where three of them — Tsai, Chen and a 34-year-old sergeant — were taken to an intensive care unit
MORAL COURAGE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the global community to face China’s intention to subdue Taiwan and reject such irrational requests The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday strongly condemned the Chinese government for meddling with US officials’ interactions with Taiwan after FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed China’s efforts to discourage US officials from visiting Taiwan. The greatest long-term threat to the US’ information security and intellectual property, as well as its economic vitality, is China’s counterintelligence and economic espionage operations, Wray told a video event at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Beijing is engaged in a highly sophisticated and maligning foreign influence campaign, with methods that include bribery, blackmail and covert deals, he said. Giving an example, Wray said that when a US official
‘SIGNAL TO ALLIES’: The US Navy’s exercises are not in response to those carried out by China, the commander of the strike group led by the USS ‘Ronald Reagan’ said Two US aircraft carriers were yesterday conducting exercises in the disputed South China Sea, the US Navy said as China also carried out military drills that have been criticized by the US Department of Defense and neighboring states. China and the US have accused each other of stoking tension in the waterway at a time of strained relations over everything from COVID-19 to trade to Hong Kong. The USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan were carrying out operations and exercises in the South China Sea “to support a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the navy said in a statement. It did not say exactly