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Sat, Dec 06, 2008 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ MINING

Rio Tinto to cut output

Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto said yesterday it was likely to shut its iron ore mines in Western Australia for nearly two weeks over Christmas to cut production in the face of reduced demand. “We are likely to place our Pilbara mines on care and maintenance for the period Dec. 22 to Jan. 2, and rail operations would also be curtailed to that extent,” a Rio Tinto spokesman said. “We would expect port operations to be maintained at their normal activity level,” he said.

■CAMERAS

Canon subsidiaries cut jobs

More than 1,100 contract workers are losing their jobs at two subsidiaries of Japan’s Canon Inc owing to production cutbacks, officials said yesterday. Canon, which produces cameras and office equipment, said it had slashed orders to Oita Canon Inc, resulting in a reduction in the number of workers hired through contractors. A Canon spokesman said Canon itself did not propose the number of job cuts. Canon has lowered its projection for digital camera shipments to 27.9 million units from an initial 29.4 million for the year ending in March.

■STEEL

Nippon buys stake in Safal

Nippon Steel Corp, Japan’s largest steelmaker, has agreed to take a 7 percent stake in South Africa’s Safal Steel Ltd. Marubeni-Itochu Steel Inc will take an identical stake in the South African company, Nippon Steel said on its Web site yesterday. The purchase is scheduled for Dec. 15.

■AUTOMOBILES

Proton, Mitsubishi team up

Malaysian national carmaker Proton has formed an alliance with Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors Corp to jointly build a new car as part of efforts to modernize its vehicle lineup and improve component quality. Mitsubishi will provide technical and engineering services under a product collaboration agreement, Proton said in a statement yesterday. The Malaysian carmaker has also been given a non-exclusive license to modify a Mitsubishi vehicle for sale under the Proton trademark. The alliance doesn’t include any equity shareholding, officials said.

■AVIATION

EADS needs funds: report

European aerospace group EADS might have to recapitalize its main arm, the Airbus aircraft maker, with more than 2 billion euros, possibly also simplifying the business, a report in the economic newspaper Les Echos said yesterday. EADS might have to recapitalize from next year to the extent of 2 billion euros [US$2.55 billion]” because shareholder funds are inadequate, the report said, quoting unidentified sources within the group. The parent group would have to boost capital in the four national entities that form the Airbus operation: Airbus France, Airbus Deutschland, Airbus UK and Airbus Espana.

■SEMICONDUCTORS

Creditors may help Hynix

Creditors are considering providing financial support for Hynix Semiconductor Inc, the world’s second-largest memory chipmaker, online news provider Edaily reported yesterday. “We are mulling whether to provide funds to Hynix, either through new loans or issuing new shares, but the method, amount and timing haven’t been decided,” said Kim Sun-gyu, a spokesman at Korea Exchange Bank, Hynix’s main creditor. Hynix recently requested about 500 billion won (US$339 million) to 1 trillion won in financial support, Kim said.

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