Saab to seek protection
General Motors’ loss-making carmaker Saab Automobile announced yesterday it would seek legal protection from creditors to allow it to restructure and seek new funding. Saab made an operating loss of 2.19 billion Swedish crowns (US$251 million) in 2007, regulatory filings show. “We explored and will continue to explore all available options for funding and/or selling Saab, and it was determined a formal reorganization would be the best way to create a truly independent entity that is ready for investment,” Saab managing director Jan-Ake Jonsson said in a statement.
Anglo American cutting jobs
British mining group Anglo American said yesterday it intended to cut 19,000 jobs by the end of the year after reporting a 29 percent fall in net earnings last year to US$5.2 billion. The cuts are part of an economy drive that the group hopes will result in a savings of US$2 billion a year between now and 2011. Anglo American is a diversified enterprise, producing platinum, coal and base metals such as copper, zinc and nickel. It also has a 45-percent stake in De Beers, the world’s largest diamond company.
Kirin buys San Miguel stake
Japan’s Kirin Holdings said yesterday that it had struck a deal to pay about US$1.2 billion for a 43.25 percent stake in San Miguel Corp’s brewing business in the Philippines. Kirin also plans a tender offer to boost its stake in San Miguel Brewery Inc to 49 percent, leaving the Philippine conglomerate with the remaining 51 percent. “This investment will significantly contribute to Kirin’s further growth in its alcohol business in Asia and Oceania,” a Kirin statement said.
Multinationals cutting back
Multinational companies are hiring less or cutting existing staff as they struggle through the global economic crisis, the China Daily reported yesterday. Nearly 70 percent of firms polled in a survey by FESCO, a Beijing-based, state-run recruitment agency targeting foreign companies, said they were scaling back their recruitment plans this year, the newspaper reported. In addition, 27 percent of multinationals said they had already started laying off employees, the survey found after polling 356 of its clients in different industries across the country, the paper said.
Macintosh sales fall 6%
Apple Inc’s sales of Macintosh computers declined 6 percent last month from a year ago as consumers pulled back purchases amid the recession, Piper Jaffray & Co analyst Gene Munster said. The sales figures suggest Apple may sell as many as 2.2 million Macs in the first quarter, Munster said in a note to clients. Sales of the iPod digital media player fell 14 percent last month, he said, citing data from Washington-based market research firm NPD Group Inc.
Norinchukin seeks cash call
Norinchukin Bank said yesterday it planned to raise funds of US$14.7 billion to shore up its finances, the biggest cash call yet by a Japanese bank during the current financial crisis. Norinchukin, the de facto central bank for Japan’s farm and fishery cooperatives, expects to raise ¥1.38 trillion from its members by the end of the fiscal year to next month, it said in a statement.