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Sat, Jan 24, 2009 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■FINANCE

Thain resigns from BOA

John Thain, the former chief executive of the loss-ridden Merrill Lynch, which was taken over by Bank of America, resigned on Thursday from the bank, in which he has been head of global banking, securities and wealth management, an official said. Thain tendered his resignation to Bank of America chief executive Kenneth Lewis. “I can confirm that Ken Lewis flew to New York today to talk to John Thain and it was mutually agreed that his situation was not working out and he would resign,” bank spokesman Robert Stickler said in an e-mail. Thain was given the new post in Bank of America after it acquired Merrill Lynch on Jan. 1 amid financial turmoil that wreaked havoc on American financial institutions.

■TECHNOLOGY

Qimonda files for insolvency

Struggling chipmaker Qimonda has filed for insolvency at a court in Munich, a court spokeswoman said yesterday. The Infineon subsidiary received a US$422 million cash injection last month in a bid to keep it afloat. In addition to its main factory at Dresden in the east of Germany, Qimonda has a plant near Porto in Portugal. Qimonda has suffered from a dramatic fall in prices for computer chips. In November, the company warned it might face insolvency if support was not forthcoming.

■AUTOMOTIVE

Toyota mulls 1,000 job cuts

Japanese carmaker Toyota Motor Corp is considering shedding more than 1,000 regular workers in North America and in Britain, a report said yesterday. Toyota is examining how it could make the cuts at its seven plants in North America and one plant in Britain, and is aiming to finalize the plan by the end of the month, the Japanese business daily Nikkei reported, citing an unnamed senior Toyota official. The possible job cuts would be the first time Toyota has axed regular workers since 1950, when it laid off about 1,600 employees in Japan, the report said.

■STEEL

Nippon to cut crude output

Asia’s largest steelmaker Nippon Steel will cut crude steel output by 15 percent during the current financial year to March from a year earlier, a report said yesterday. The output reduction of 5 million tonnes would be achieved by temporarily suspending blast furnaces at plants in Japan, the Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun reported, citing unnamed sources. With the cut, the Japanese firm, the world’s largest steelmaker after behemoth Arcelor Mittal, is aiming to adjust its operation to match output reductions in a wide range of industries including the auto industry, the report said.

■TIRES

Bridgestone sheds 800 jobs

Japanese tiremaker Bridgestone Corp said yesterday that it was shedding about 800 jobs in the US to cope with weaker demand. Bridgestone said it would stop making tires for passenger cars and light trucks at its Tennessee factory with the loss of 543 jobs. It will also reduce production of tires for bigger trucks at the same plant, resulting in a further 259 layoffs. Bridgestone said it hoped to re-hire workers when the economy picks up, perhaps as early as the fourth quarter of this year. The company will continue to produce tires for larger trucks and buses at the plant with more than 700 workers.

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