Foreign business news briefs

  • Business
  • Saturday, 04 Jan 2003

NEW YORK: IBM Corp has closed a deal to sell its hard-disk drive assets to Hitachi Ltd for US$2.05bil, as part of an effort to cut non-performing assets. Under the terms of the deal, first announced last June, Hitachi will initially own 70% of a newly created hard disk drive company, buying the remaining 30% from IBM over the next three years. 

IBM’s hard drive business has been losing money for years. The sale of the assets was one of the first major initiatives by chief executive officer Samuel Palmisano, who took over management of the company from Louis Gerstner early last year and became chairman on Jan 1. – Reuters 



DES MOINES (Iowa): McDonald’s Corp, in a cost-saving move, has pulled the plug on what had been envisioned as a global digital network linking its fast-food restaurants, headquarters and vendors. Called “Innovate”, the project has been killed by the new management team as it focuses on near-term benefits and particularly on restaurant operations. 

A McDonald's spokesman said the move was expected to save the company “tens of millions of dollars” this year. While the financial impact was still being determined, a charge for the project’s shutdown was possible, he indicated. – AP 



HONG KONG: The Civil Aviation Department (CAD) of Hong Kong has approved an application by the Board of Airline Representatives (BAR) to reduce the insurance surcharge on air freight exports by 50%, the South China Morning Post reported, citing a department official. 

Consequently, 47 airlines operating from the territory's Chek Lap Kok Airport will this month reduce the surcharge on exports to 25 HK cents per kilo. – AFX  

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