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Sat, Feb 14, 2009 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■AUTOMOBILES

GM denies SAIC deal

General Motors Corp does not plan to sell its stake in a joint venture with local partner SAIC Motor Corp (上海汽車), a spokesman for the US automaker said yesterday. “There is no truth to the story that we are planning to sell Shanghai GM shares to our partner SAIC,” said Henry Wong, a Shanghai-based spokesman for the company.

■CHEMICALS

Dow to reduce bonuses

The largest US chemical maker, Dow Chemical, will cut its bonuses for the first time in almost 100 years because of the economic crisis and massive financial problems, the company announced on Thursday. The firm’s disbursement in the next quarter will be US$0.15, which is only a third of the amount paid last time. Starting in 1912, the company never had to reduce its bonus. Up to the beginning of this year, Dow Chemical denied it would have to do so. Last week, Dow Chemical reported a loss of US$1.6 billion in the last quarter of last year, compared with a US$472 million profit in 2007.

■ALUMINUM

Alcoa partners with Henan

US-based Alcoa on Thursday announced a “strategic cooperation agreement” with Henan Province in China on primary and fabricated aluminum products. The agreement was signed on Wednesday at Alcoa’s New York headquarters by company president and chief executive Klaus Kleinfeld and Henan Governor Guo Gengmao (郭庚茂). “By combining the strengths of Henan Province, an area with abundant energy and natural resources, and Alcoa’s technology and market leadership, we are aiming to establish a globally competitive base for aluminum production in China,” Kleinfeld said.

■STEEL

ThyssenKrupp profits down

ThyssenKrupp AG, Germany’s largest steelmaker, said yesterday company profits dropped sharply in the fiscal first quarter and that it would cut jobs as the world economic crisis caused a sharp fall in demand for steel. The Duesseldorf-based company said net profit in the quarter from October to December fell 63 percent to 163 million euros (US$210 million). Sales for the quarter fell by 6 percent to 11.5 billion euros. Ekkehard Schulz, Thyssen’s chief executive, said the company expected similar business conditions in the second quarter and that a full-year outlook was difficult to make given the ongoing economic situation.

■ELECTRONICS

Panasonic urges staff to buy

Panasonic Corp is urging its 10,000 managers in Japan to buy the company’s products to boost sales and help reverse a profit plunge, a spokesman said yesterday. Executives and senior managers are being asked to buy at least ¥200,000 (US$2,200) in Panasonic goods, such as refrigerators, flat-panel TVs and Blu-ray disc players, by July, said Akira Kadota, the spokesman. Lower level managers are asked to buy at least ¥100,000 worth of such products, he said.

■STOCKS

Lehman head to lead LSE

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has appointed Xavier Rolet, the former head of Lehman Brothers in France, as its new chief executive, the LSE said yesterday. Rolet will join the LSE board on March 16 and will take over as chief executive on May 20, it said in a statement. LSE shares, which peaked at over £17 a year ago, have fallen sharply amid concerns that the financial market downturn will curb equity trading volumes.

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