TOYODA APOLOGY TOUR IN BEIJING
Akio Toyoda, chief executive of Toyota Motor, apologised to Chinese consumers yesterday during a visit to Beijing, as he extended his effort to repair Toyota’s image to the biggest-volume car market in the world. Toyoda flew to China from the US where he had received tough criticism from Congress.
MTN BEGINS SEARCH FOR NEW CHIEF AS NHLEKO STEPS DOWN
MTN Group, one of South Africa’s most dynamic and internationally oriented companies, said yesterday that its chief executive Phuthuma Nhleko will step down after eight years in the position. MTN has become a prominent player in telecommunications markets across Africa and the Middle East with much of the expansion orchestrated by Nhleko.
GM RESISTS BERLIN PRESSURE OVER OPEL
General Motors’ European chief said the US carmaker did not plan to increase its contribution to Opel’s €3.3bn ($4.5bn) restructuring plan, in spite of growing pressure on GM from Germany to put up more of its own money. Nick Reilly also said that he hoped to have the plan agreed with unions and five European countries – from which it is seeking €2.7bn of loans and guarantees – within a month. “We need to know where we are with this plan,” GM’s boss said.
ALIBABA ON THE ATTACK TO WIN USERS
Alibaba, the company that runs the world’s largest online trading platform for businesses, has launched another marketing offensive with a drastic price cut in its domestic marketplace. During the financial crisis Alibaba cut prices for premium memberships and for those in foreign markets.
MUSIC EXECUTIVES PROTEST OVER BBC PLAN TO AXE 6 MUSIC STATION
The BBC has failed British musicians and their fans by deciding to shut the digital radio station 6 Music, record industry chiefs said at the weekend. In a strongly worded letter to Mark Thompson, the Director-General, representatives of the music industry said they were “surprised and alarmed” by last week’s report in The Times that the broadcaster is to close the alternative music station as part of an overhaul of the corporation’s size and scope.
COPPER PRICE SOARS ON CHILE PRODUCTION FEARS
Copper prices surged yesterday as traders calculated the impact on supply caused by the earthquake in Chile, the world’s biggest producer of the metal. Copper on the London Metal Exchange rose to $7,355 a tonne.
The Daily Telegraph
WARREN BUFFETT 'FEELS GOOD' ABOUT GOLDMAN SACHS
Warren Buffett, who has run Berkshire Hathaway since 1965, dismissed the political and public backlash against Goldman, praising Lloyd Blankfein and the bank’s business model. In an extended interview with cable business network CNBC, the so-called “Sage of Omaha” said: “I feel good about their business prospects. I mean... it’s a very, very strong, well-run business. It’s got a place in the universe and there are fewer big investment banks around than there were a few years ago worldwide.”
BUDGET RIFT OVER £1.5 BILLION WINDFALL FROM BANKERS' BONUS TAX
A £1.5bn tax windfall from bankers’ bonuses has opened up a new rift between Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
GOOGLE, MICROSOFT SPAR ON ANTITRUST
Seeking $335,000 in unpaid advertising bills, Google filed suit against a small Internet site in Ohio in October. The complaint was so routine it was just two sentences long. Google never expected the response it got. Last month, the small Internet site countered with a 24-page antitrust lawsuit against Google, accusing the search-engine giant of a litany of monopolistic abuses.
EU STILL DIVIDED OVER
Hedge-Fund Rules Members of the European Union remain divided over planned rules for hedge funds and private-equity firms, according to the Spanish government. Spain, which currently holds the EU’s presidency, said representatives from the 27 member countries raised three main concerns last week.