BUYERS AWAIT DYSON’S FANS
Sir James Dyson, champion of British industrial design, has launched his latest invention aimed at catapulting the conventional electric desk fan into the 21st century. His “Air Multiplier” fan boasts reduced energy consumption and no external blades. But fans of Dyson inventions must wait several weeks for the fan to be available in the UK.
OCBC TO BUY ING’S ASIA PRIVATE BANKING ASSETS
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, Singapore’s third-largest lender, is set to transform its regional footprint after trumping HSBC to acquire the Asian private banking assets of ING Group for $1.46bn (£897m). The cash deal, which triples OCBC’s private banking funds to $23bn, marks the latest asset disposal in the region by a troubled western financial group.
TANDBERG INVESTORS SEEK TO BLOCK $3BN CISCO BID
Investors holding 24 per cent of the shares in Tandberg look set to block Cisco’s $3bn (£1.8bn) bid for the Norwegian video conferencing company, raising hopes that the US networking company might sweeten the offer. The Cisco deal was recommended by the Tandberg board, but a group of mainly small shareholders including the Oslo Pension Fund said they would not sell shares to Cisco under the current offer.
CARREFOUR BEATS HASTY RUSSIAN RETREAT
Carrefour, Europe’s biggest retailer, is to pull out of Russia only months after opening its first stores there, blaming its rapid departure on its inability to reach a “leadership” position in the market. The company last week denied it was selling its operations in “growth” markets after rumours it was considering exiting various emerging markets.
CENTRICA SPEEDS UP WIND PARK PLANS TO QUALIFY FOR SUBSIDIES
Centrica is accelerating plans to build two giant offshore wind parks in the North Sea to allow it to qualify for extra subsidies that could be worth hundreds of millions of pounds. The two projects are expected to cost about £1.5bn each to build. But if Centrica, owner of British Gas, places an order for the turbines before March 31, it will clinch an extra 33 per cent in government subsidies for up to 25 years.
FRANCE TÉLÉCOM UNDER PRESSURE AS SUICIDES REACH 25
A 48-year-old engineer hung himself at his home in Brittany today to become the 25th employee of France Télécom to commit suicide over the past 18 months. The spate of deaths has sparked a fierce row over management methods at the firm.
The Daily Telegraph
GERMAN “WISE MEN” FEAR CREDIT CRUNCH IN 2010
Germany’s leading institutes have warned that the pace of economic recovery is “unsustainable” and that the country’s banks may face a fresh crisis over the next year as bad debts surface in earnest. “There is still a significant risk of further shocks to the international financial system,” said a joint report by the five “Wise Men”, a panel that advises the government.
THOUSANDS OF SHELL WORKERS ASKED TO REAPPLY FOR THEIR JOBS
A “few thousand” employees at Royal Dutch Shell have been asked to submit applications for their own jobs, as BP predicts stable oil prices over the next few years. Peter Voser, the group’s new chief executive, said that staff had been invited to reapply for their jobs, but he would not say how many positions would be lost.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
AMD REPORTS NARROWER LOSS
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) reported a narrower net loss than expected in the third quarter, benefiting from a rebounding PC market that also aided rival Intel. The Silicon Valley chip maker said revenue remained 22 per cent lower than the year-earlier quarter — before the recession — but rose 18 per cent from the second period. AMD said revenue would be up “modestly” in the current quarter from the third period.
LOCKHEED NAMES NEW PRESIDENT
Lockheed Martin became the latest major defence contractor to make changes in its executive suite, reinstating the president and chief operating officer position and tapping executive Christopher Kubasik for the role. Kubasik will have a frontline corporate position overseeing the contractor’s operations.