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Thu, Apr 16, 2009 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■INTERNET

Yahoo layoffs expected

Yahoo is preparing a new round of layoffs and several hundred employees could be affected, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times reported late on Tuesday. The newspapers said the layoffs, which would be the first since Carol Bartz took over in January as chief executive of the Internet company, could be announced as early as next week, when Yahoo reports its quarterly earnings. Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo cut 2,400 jobs last year and had 13,600 employees at the end of last year.

■PHARMACEUTICALS

Sanofi-Aventis to buy BiPar

Sanofi-Aventis SA has agreed to pay up to US$500 million to buy California-based BiPar Sciences to strengthen its research and development in cancer treatments, the Paris-based pharmaceutical company said yesterday. BiPar Sciences, based in Brisbane, California, is focused on research into a new cancer treatment that blocks tumor cells from repairing their own DNA, causing the cancer cells to die, Sanofi-Aventis said in a statement. The final price paid for BiPar Sciences will depend on its achieving targets related to the development of the new treatment, known as BSI-201, Sanofi-Aventis said.

■ENERGY

Petrobras discovers crude

Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras says it has made a new deep-water discovery of light crude in the Santos Basin off the coast of Sao Paulo state. Petroleo Brasileiro SA has yet to say how many barrels of oil the new discovery may hold. The field lies about 340km offshore in pre-salt reservoirs some 5km below sea level. Petrobras said on Tuesday that the discovery was made in partnership with the Spanish oil company Repsol YPF and Britain’s BG Group PLC.

■AVIATION

All Nippon hit by strike

A 24-hour strike by pilots at All Nippon Airways (ANA) forced Japan’s No. 2 carrier to cancel or delay more than 160 domestic flights yesterday, a company spokesman said. “A total of 149 flights have been canceled, with 14 flights delayed,” affecting some 7,300 passengers, the official said, after 610 union members went on strike from 2:45am yesterday. The affected flights, mostly services to provincial cities and remote islands, account for some 18 percent of ANA’s domestic operations. No international flights were affected by the dispute.

■MINING

Rio Tinto production down

Mining giant Rio Tinto yesterday said first-quarter iron ore production fell 15 percent but predicted a recovery in Chinese steel demand in the second half of this year. Rio said reduced market demand and heavy rainfall at its Pilbara operations in Western Australian meant iron ore production dropped 15 percent compared with the same period last year. Chief executive Tom Albanese said Rio remained committed to a proposed deal with Chinalco for the Chinese state-owned firm to take a major equity stake in return for US$19.5 billion.

■RETAIL

Wal-Mart may cut PRC staff

Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, said yesterday it is restructuring its management in China, which could lead to staff cuts. “We are slashing one layer of mid-level executives off the five-layer executive structure established when we entered China 13 years ago,” said Chen Lu, a Shenzhen-based Wal-Mart spokeswoman.

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