Ballmer meets Bostock
Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer met Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock in New York this week, according to a report in the New York Times. The newspaper cited an unnamed source who had been briefed on the meeting, but no details of the conversation have been released. Yahoo’s appointment of Carol Bartz as chief executive has heightened speculation that the companies may be able to agree on a takeover, with Microsoft possibly acquiring Yahoo’s search engine business. The news follows reports of an informal conversation between Bartz and Ballmer after she was selected by Yahoo’s board.
Japan offers financing
Japan Bank for International Corp will lend about ¥1 trillion (US$11 billion) to Japanese manufacturers including automakers operating in the US and Europe, the Yomiuri Shimbun said. The government will set up the emergency financing facility this month to help Japanese companies facing funding difficulties abroad because of the global credit crisis, the newspaper said without citing anyone. Automakers, namely Toyota Motor Corp, Honda Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co, have requested such loans, the report said, quoting an unidentified government official. Makers of chemicals, electronics and steel can also tap this financing facility, the Yomiuri said.
Toy exports fall
Toy exports have taken a beating from the global financial crisis, with demand shrinking in the key US and European markets, state media reported yesterday. In the period from January to November last year, China’s shipments of toys abroad totaled US$8 billion, an increase of just 2.5 percent from the same period a year earlier, the People’s Daily said on its Web site. This compares with the first 11 months of 2007, when toy exports had increased by a blistering 20.3 percent, the paper said, citing customs authorities. In November alone, toy exports declined 8.6 percent from the same month a year earlier, the paper said.
Satyam in talks with banks
The new board of embattled Satyam Computer Services said on Saturday it was in talks with banks and financial institutions over funding, and was doing all it could to ensure staff were paid on time. The government-appointed board met on Saturday, saying it was still looking for a new chief executive and chief financial officer for the outsourcing firm at the center of India’s biggest corporate scandal. But it said it had received expressions of support from customers. Satyam, India’s No. 4 software services exporter, has been battling for survival since Ramalinga Raju resigned as chairman earlier this month, revealing profits had been falsified for years and that US$1 billion of cash on the books did not exist.
Logitech plans game board
Logitech plans to produce a computing keyboard especially for gamers. The G19 keyboard was designed with input from the gaming community, meaning it is designed to meet the needs of passionate computer and online gamers, the company said. The new keyboard is due out in March. The features include 12 programmable buttons, two high-speed USB ports and a color LCD display. The display shows information relevant to the game being played or a variety of other data not necessarily related to a game, including the time, Internet phone calls, or videos.