Business News

Ericsson first-quarter net income drops 30 per cent

Ericsson first-quarter net income drops 30 per cent Stockholm - Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson on Thursday posted an increase in first-quarter 2009 sales - but net income fell dropped dramatically due to losses attributed to its joint venture Sony Ericsson.

Pre-tax income in the quarter totalled 3.3 billion kronor (400 million dollars), a 25 per cent decline year-on-year but better than analysts had predicted.

Net income - after losses and restructuring charges - dropped 30 per cent to 1.8 billion kronor while sales increased 12 per cent to 49.6 billion kronor, Ericsson said.

Taiwan's TSMC's first-quarter profits down 94 per cent

Taiwan's TSMC's first-quarter profits down 94 per centTaipei - The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker, saw its first-quarter profits fall 94.5 cent due to the global slump, TSMC said Thursday.

Net profits were 1.56 billion Taiwan dollars (47 million dollars), down 94.5 per cent year-on-year.

TSMC's revenues for the first three months of 2009 totalled 39.5 billion Taiwan dollars, down 54.8 per cent year-on-year.

Toshiba's Westinghouse to buy majority stake in nuclear fuel firm

Toshiba's Westinghouse to buy majority stake in nuclear fuel firmTokyo - Japanese electronics company Toshiba Corp on Thursday announced its US unit Westinghouse Electric Co would acquire a 52-per-cent stake in Nuclear Fuel Industries (NFI) to increase competitiveness in bidding for construction of nuclear power plants.

Westinghouse plans to buy a 26-per-cent stake each from Furukawa Electric Co and Sumitomo Electric Industries, which together own Nuclear Fuel Industries, for about
10 billion yen (103 million dollars) in May, Toshiba said.

Societe Generale chairman to quit

Societe Generale chairman to quit Paris  - Daniel Bouton, chairman of the French bank Societe Generale, was to quit following criticism over risky investments and massive losses, the Le Figaro newspaper said Wednesday.

Bouton said he handed in his resignation "to protect the bank," the paper reported. "I have become the target of incessant attacks that finally damage the company that I am very attached to," he said.

The bank's director general, Frederic Oudea, was to take over Bouton's position on May 6. Bouton stressed he would not receive any severance pay.

Allianz, American Express sell shares in Chinese bank

Allianz, American Express sell shares in Chinese bank Beijing  - Germany's Allianz Group and US-based American Express have sold shares valued at up to 2 billion dollars in China's biggest commercial bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the companies said on Tuesday.

Allianz said it had sold 3.216 billion shares, or half of its stake in ICBC, to "a select group of investors through a private sale."

Japan's Kirin bids for Australian brewer Lion Nathan

Japan's Kirin bids for Australian brewer Lion NathanSydney  - Shares in Lion Nathan Ltd leapt 40 per cent Monday after Australia's second-largest brewer agreed to a 6.5-billion-Australian-dollar (4.6-billion-US-dollar) takeover offer from Japanese beer maker Kirin Holdings Co Ltd.

Lion Nathan's board has agreed to sell Kirin the 54 per cent of shares it doesn't already own in the brewer that counts the beer brands Tooheys, James Boag, James Squire, Heineken, Hahn and XXXX in its stable.

The deal needs the approval of the Foreign Investment Review Board and non-Kirin shareholders.

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