GM will pay back its debt faster
General Motors (GM), the US car giant, is planning to pay back roughly $8bn (£5.8bn) in debt to the United States and Canada by June, after the government bailed out the company ealier this year. The move indicates a faster payback of the first portion of its bailout than GM had previously committed to make, and is the latest indication that the car market is picking up after being seriously hit in the recession. The announcement from new chief executive Ed Whitacre marks the first time GM has committed to repaying its government loans within a year, after it filed for bankruptcy in a restructuring steered by the Obama administration.
General Electric to shift strategy
General Electric Chief executive Jeffrey Immelt said the giant conglomerate was undergoing a renewal after what has been one of the most difficult years in the company's 117-year history.
Immelt said GE is focusing on sectors such as energy and health care as it looks to its big industrial divisions to navigate out of the deep recession. Despite the shift in strategy, GE's forecast for 2010 shows that the effects of the recent economic crisis will linger.
Hotel group Accor to split
French hotels and services company Accor is to split into two separate, listed companies, one focusing on hotels, the other on vouchers.
The move ends years of speculation and pressure from some shareholders.
A wide majority of the 12-member board voted in favour of the plans, with one vote opposed.
The French sovereign wealth fund, the FSI, which holds over 8.5 per cent, voted against the plans.