Top Headlines - part 50
FINANCE October 5, 2011 | 3:40 PM
- September sales for Toyota fell 18%, Honda sales were down 8%
- Ford sales rose close to 10%, General Motors 20%, and Chrysler more than 25% in September
- Italy and Spain hit 15-year low
Nissan Motor Co is topping the list of Asia-brand car sellers in the US, with its best sales figures since April surpassing forecasts at 25%. Honda Motor Co and Toyota Motor Corp have seen their US market shares fall as they fell short of deliveries, falling almost 2% and 4% over the past year, with September sales down 8% and 18% respectively.
Toyota’s inventory took a 40% dip compared with early October 2010. Toyota, the number one car manufacturer in Asia, was held back by the March 2011 earthquake in Japan, but is back to full output levels since September. Nissan suffered less serious supply shortages, having regained full operation since June. The company’s US sales rose 25% in September 2011 compared with the same month in 2010. Volkswagen reported a boost in sales of more than 35%.Read more »
WORLD October 5, 2011 | 3:28 PM
- Nuclear plant use plummets 46% in 12 months ending in September
- Japan operating at 20% nuclear capacity, with 11 functioning reactors
- Tokyo Electric Power Co to axe 7,500 jobs, cut costs by $32.5 billion
The nuclear plant use rate in Japan saw a year-on-year drop in September of over 46% following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that lead to the shutdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant around 200 miles northeast of Tokyo.
Two additional reactors, Shikoku Electric Power’s Ikata unit and Kyushu Electric Power’s Sendai unit, were closed down in September 2011 and none have been reinstated since the March events, contributing to the declining average run rate.Read more »
WORLD October 5, 2011 | 3:10 PM
- Autolib scheme kicks off pilot with 66 electric cars, to reach 3,000 by end 2012
- Bolloré’s Bluecar can cover 250 kilometers before recharge required
- Renaut forecasts electric cars to account for 10% of new car sales by 2020
Adding to its Velib bicycle-sharing initiative, Paris has rolled out an electric-car-sharing program to continue combating the city’s increasing traffic problems. The $320 million Autolib scheme is now in gear for a two-month trial period.
City dwellers are to take advantage of a compact vehicle, called the Bluecar, from Bolloré, a top-200 EU company in 2004 headquartered in Paris, for less than $11 per half hour for drivers with an Autolib membership, which costs just over $13 a month.Read more »
WORLD October 5, 2011 | 3:00 PM
- Fossil Fuel subsides could hit $660 billion in 2020
- $409 billion spent in subsidies in 2010, $97 billion more than 2009
- Only 8% of spending reached world’s poorest population last year
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has renewed calls for a reduction in subsidies for the production and consumption of fossil fuels, warning spending could reach $660 billion by 2020.
The IEA said in a statement that $409 billion was spent by governments in 2010 compared to $312 billion the previous year, and that reforms must be implemented to stop subsidies growing out of hand. Some $193 billion was spent on oil worldwide, with $91 billion going to natural gas. Saudi Arabia, Iran and Russia racked up the highest totals of government spending on fossil fuels.Read more »
BUSINESS October 5, 2011 | 2:48 PM
- Sears, Walmart, Toys R Us among major US retailers expanding layaway programs
- Retailers dropped option due to rising credit card purchases
- Layaways brought back to boost sales after financial crisis
Retailers in the United States are ramping up layaway programs ahead of the holiday season in the hope of bringing cautious consumers back into their stores.
Over the past decade, shoppers have put more and more purchases on their credit cards, leading retailers to wind down or scrap installment-based payment offers. But in the wake of a global financial crisis, US consumers have reigned in their credit shopping to avoid racking up debt and interest payments.Read more »
ECONOMY October 4, 2011 | 6:15 PM
- US Senate passes bill punishing China for currency policies
- Value of yuan has appreciated by 5% in past year
- Critics cite slow growth of yuan as giving China an unfair advantage in global marketplace
The US Senate has voted to advance a bill (S.1619) that would impact China's currency policies, effectively forcing China to raise the value of the yuan, or renminbi (RMB).
If passed, the bill will allow the US to enforce tariffs within 90 days on imports from another country found to be subsidizing exports by devaluing its currency. Under these criteria, the bill would allow American businesses to seek duty on imports from China.Read more »
BUSINESS October 4, 2011 | 6:03 PM
- US security finally moving towards risk-based searches
- TSA introduces multi-million-dollar initiatives for enhanced machine to deter terrorists
- TSA say new machines have no privacy issues because names are immediately deleted
Those not enthralled with the US’s one-size-fits-all airport security checks may take a small measure of rejoicing: The government is now moving slightly towards a more risk-based and intelligence driven model.
The move was only one of several multi-million dollar initiatives for better security announced recently by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).Read more »
ECONOMY October 4, 2011 | 12:11 PM
- iPhone accounts for just 2.6% of Indian market
- Shipments to India fewer than to Norway in Q2
- Slow development of 3G networks damaging to iPhone sales
Apple is struggling to make iPhone sales take off in India, the world’s second-largest mobile phone market.
The emerging Indian economy attracts leading tech players from all over the world and has some 602 million smartphone subscribers. But the number one smartphone manufacturer has been unable to mirror the dominance it has shown elsewhere throughout the world.Read more »
BUSINESS October 4, 2011 | 9:59 AM
- Lower costs and quicker results fueling growth for medical tourism worldwide
- Medical tourism no longer confined to Third World countries; France tops ranking for treatment in Western Europe
- Job creation and attracting tourists incentives for medical tourism start-ups
As the world evolves ever more into a “global market,” perhaps nowhere does it become more obvious than when talking about medical tourism: the World Health Organization estimates that nearly 2 million people travel to another nation each year to receive medical treatment, and the number is growing.
Medical tourism is defined as obtaining a medical procedure outside the country of residence. There are two basic types of medical tourism. One involves health care options only available in one country or another. But the second and much larger group involves anyone looking for high-quality treatment at lower prices then found at home.Read more »
FINANCE October 4, 2011 | 9:43 AM
- Shares drop by 54% as Kodak hires bankruptcy expert
- Shareholders reassured bankruptcy not imminent
- Last profit posted in 2007
Eastman Kodak saw its shares drop by over half following news it had taken on the legal services of a renowned bankruptcy expert. In a statement, the former photography pioneer said it had “no intention of filing for bankruptcy”, saying it had hired the Jones Day law firm in relation to restructuring prospects.
The company reassured shareholders it would meet its financial responsibilities, but it was unable to quell speculation, with stock plummeting as much as 68% before settling at 54% down on 78 cents per share in New York on Friday.Read more »