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Wed, Jan 07, 2009 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■AUTOMOBILES

Toyota suspends production

Toyota Motor Corp said yesterday that it would suspend production at all of its domestic plants for 11 days between next month and March in response to a slump in sales. The move underscores the rapidly deteriorating fortunes of Japanese auto giants, which have racked up bumper profits in recent years and invested heavily to expand their production facilities overseas. “We will suspend the operation of 12 Toyota factories in Japan for 11 more days,” a Toyota spokesman said. Japan’s top automaker is already idling its domestic plants for three days this month to cope with rapidly deteriorating demand.

■ELECTRONICS

Sony issues sales warning

Sony Corp, the world’s second-largest consumer electronics maker, may not meet its sales target for 16 million liquid-crystal-display televisions this fiscal year because of lower-than-expected revenue in North America and Europe, the company’s president said. The target for the 12 months ending March is “tough to reach,” president Ryoji Chubachi said in an interview with Bloomberg Television yesterday. “We characterize the environment for our year-end sales as severe,” he said.

■ELECTRONICS

Sanyo to cut 1,000 jobs

Japan’s Sanyo Electric Co plans to cut up to 1,000 jobs to revamp its struggling businesses before being bought by Panasonic Corp, a press report said yesterday. Sanyo Electric is considering shedding about 500 of its 20,000 regular employees in Japan, mainly in the semiconductor division, by the end of March, the Nikkei Shimbun business daily reported. The total number of job cuts, including temporary workers, is expected to reach about 1,000, the daily said, without naming its sources. Several hundred of the 2,000 regular jobs at wholly owned unit Sanyo Semiconductor Co are expected to be axed under an early retirement program, the Jiji news agency said. The subsidiary has some 10,000 workers worldwide.

■ELECTRONICS

Logitech to cut 15% of jobs

Logitech International SA, a maker of mice, webcams and other computer peripherals, said on Monday it is cutting its salaried work force by 15 percent in response to weak consumer demand amid what it expects to be an extended global downturn. Switzerland-based Logitech, which also has offices in Fremont, California, has about 3,500 salaried employees in a total work force of about 9,000. The company also withdrew its previous forecasts for sales growth of between 6 percent and 8 percent and operating income growth of between 3 percent and 5 percent. Gerald Quindlen, Logitech’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement that “we expect the economic environment to worsen in the coming months and we are therefore taking significant actions to align our cost structure with what is likely to be an extended downturn.”

■CHINA

IPO funds likely to increase

Funds raised by Chinese companies in local initial public offerings (IPO) are likely to rise 47 percent this year compared with last year, accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers said yesterday. The increase in IPOs will reflect the sound fundamentals of the Chinese economy and the impact of a massive stimulus package implemented by the government, it said. Last year, total IPO funds raised in Chinese stock exchanges fell by 78 percent year-on-year to 103.5 billion yuan (US$15.2 billion) as the global financial crisis battered market sentiment.

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