Archive for August, 2008

Hyundai union to launch work stoppage next week (Reuters)

Thursday, August 28th, 2008 | Finance News

SEOUL (Reuters) -
Unionized workers at Hyundai Motor Co
(005380.KS), South Korea's top automaker, said on Friday they
had decided to hold brief work stoppages twice next week over a
wage dispute and working conditions.

Hyundai's daytime and night shift union members plan to
stage four-hour strikes each on Tuesday and Wednesday, if they
fail to reach a deal, a union spokesman said.

The union has held seven work stoppages since July 2,
costing the company 25,819 vehicles in lost output, according
to the company.

But union members at the company usually make up production
losses with overtime work once they reach wage deals.

Shares in Hyundai rose 0.42 percent to 71,100 won as of
0538 GMT, compared with a 0.14 percent gain in the wider market

(Reporting by Cheon Jong-woo; Editing by Ken Wills)


Dell sees Asia business sound but voices caution (Reuters)

Thursday, August 28th, 2008 | Finance News

BEIJING (Reuters) -
Dell Inc (DELL.O), the world's No. 2
personal computer maker, said on Friday its Asia Pacific
business was holding up even as corporations turned cautious
about spending on technology because of slowing global growth.

Dell managed to maintain sound margins and balanced
profitability in the region with total revenue growing by 25
percent in the latest quarter from a year earlier, said Steve
Felice, president of Dell Asia-Pacific and Japan.

Felice was briefing reporters on a teleconference a day
after the firm reported a surprisingly steep drop in quarterly
earnings as companies around the world cut back on technology
spending in response to a global economic slowdown.

"I haven't changed my level of optimism around our business
and demand levels and our ability to grow," he said.

Overall economic growth in most countries in the region is
still healthy and companies still view information technology
as an important productivity tool, Felice said.

"The industry is still projecting double-digit growth. I
still want to grow faster than the industry," Felice said.

Revenues in the quarter grew 33 percent in China, 59
percent in India and by 30 percent on average in the members of
the Association of South East Asian Nations.

Felice expressed concern that high inflation in Asia could
trigger interest rate rises that would then crimp spending, but
he said the outlook for growth in the region remained
"extremely healthy.'

"I am more on a watch mode than drawing any conclusions at
this point of time," Felice said.

(Reporting by Michael Wei; Editing by Alan Wheatley and
Jonathan Hopfner)


P&G SEC filing confirms antitrust probes (AP)

Thursday, August 28th, 2008 | Finance News

CINCINNATI - Authorities in the United Kingdom are investigating potential antitrust violations involving an unnamed Procter & Gamble Co. subsidiary, the consumer products company said Thursday in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

U.K. authorities started their investigation into the unnamed subsidiary in April, and European Commission officials started an investigation in June of potential competition law violations in a variety of countries across the EU, the filing said.

National authorities in Spain and Italy also are investigating potential antitrust concerns, the Cincinnati-based company said in its filing.

"In connection with these investigations, a number of the company's subsidiaries were visited and documents seized," P&G said.

The company or its subsidiaries are also involved in other competition law investigations in Belgium, Romania and Greece, according to the filing.

"We will fully cooperate with any and all investigations," said P&G spokesman Paul Fox, who had no additional comment Thursday night.

The company said it believes all the investigations involve a number of other consumer products companies and/or retail customers. It also said no formal claims have been made against the company or any of its subsidiaries in connection with the investigations.

Competition and antitrust law investigations often continue for several years and can result in substantial fines if violations are found, the company said.

The company did note in its filing that during the fiscal year just ended, certain subsidiaries in Germany received a formal complaint alleging violations of antitrust laws. P&G is discussing the situation with German authorities, the company said.

P&G said it could not predict what financial impact may ultimately result from the probes, but added that the company "has taken and will take reserves as appropriate."

Shares of P&G rose 95 cents, or 1.36 percent, Thursday to close at $71.01.