Peugeot announces loss
French auto giant PSA Peugeot Citroen said yesterday it slumped to a first half loss of 962 million euros (US$1.37 billion) as the global economic crisis hit the auto industry. In its first half last year, the company reported a net profit of 733 million euros but finished the year with a net loss of 343 million euros as the economic crisis decimated auto sales. PSA said it was maintaining its forecast for a 12 percent fall in the European vehicle market this year, with “the beginning of a recovery seen towards the end of 2010.”
BHP settles iron contracts
Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton said yesterday it had settled half its controversial iron ore contracts, with one-quarter of customers agreeing to cuts of between 33 percent and 44 percent. The company said it had agreed to sell 23 percent of its volume through contracts and 30 percent through a mix of quarterly negotiated pricing, spot market and index-based pricing. It did not detail which countries the settled contracts were from, but analysts said it appeared they were Japanese or Korean steel mills.
Toshiba announces loss
Japanese high-tech giant Toshiba said yesterday it lost more than US$600 million in the three months to last month as the economic downturn hit sales of televisions and other electronics. Toshiba announced a net loss of ¥57.8 billion (US$610 million) for the fiscal first quarter, compared with a loss of ¥11.6 billion in the same period of the previous year. The group maintained its forecast that it would end the full financial year to March ¥50 billion in the red, after a record net loss of ¥343.6 billion last year.
SK to sell stake in Virgin
South Korea’s top mobile carrier SK Telecom said yesterday it planned to sell all its 15.3 percent stake in US-based wireless operator Virgin Mobile USA. Sprint Nextel announced it will buy Virgin Mobile USA for US$483 million and absorb it. “As Virgin Mobile is being absorbed by Sprint Nextel, we will be offered a 0.53 percent stake in Sprint Nextel,” an SK Telecom spokesman said.
Nomura announces profit
Japan’s top securities firm Nomura, digesting a takeover of large parts of failed US bank Lehman Brothers, announced yesterday its first profit in six quarters as financial turmoil eases. Nomura Holdings announced a net profit of ¥11.42 billion for the fiscal first quarter, returning to the black after a record loss of ¥709.4 billion in the last business year through March. Its revenue jumped 41 percent from a year earlier to ¥363.6 billion, helped by recovery on global financial markets.
Temasek seeks co-investors
Singapore’s state-owned investment company Temasek Holdings is looking for ways to invite the public to co-invest, chief executive officer Ho Ching (何晶) said yesterday. Temasek would first pilot such a program with “sophisticated co-investors” and test it over the next five to eight years, she said. “If this pilot is successful, we may then consider a co-investment platform for retail investors in perhaps eight to ten years’ time,” said Ho, adding that the plans “may become clearer over the next six to 12 months.”