SINGAPORE: Personal and company bankruptcies here hit a record high in 2003, official statistics showed yesterday.
Last year, 4,484 businesses and individuals were declared insolvent – a 25% increase from the previous year's 3,588 bankruptcies, according to figures from the Insolvency & Public Trustee's Office of the Ministry of Law.
The trustee's office began keeping records on bankruptcies in 1985, when they totalled 638. Last year's figure was the highest on record, said Karen Loh, a spokeswoman for the office. – AP
BETHESDA, Maryland: Lockheed Martin said higher sales of jet fighters and cargo planes drove up fourth-quarter earnings, reversing a loss that the nation's largest defence contractor posted a year ago.
On Tuesday, the company reported fourth-quarter earnings of US$344mil, which beat the expectations of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call by a penny.
In the fourth quarter 2002, Lockheed posted a loss of US$347mil due largely to charges that included a US$504mil write-down of telecommunications investments.
For the year, Lockheed had earnings of US$1.05bil, up from US$500mil in 2002. Lockheed's annual sales grew 20% from US$26.6bil in 2002 to US$31.8bil in 2003. – AP
NEW YORK: Several US airlines have made offers for the major assets of US Airways Group Inc, including its East Coast shuttle and gates at several airports, the New York Times reported, quoting people briefed on the negotiations.
AMR Corp's American Airlines, Delta Air Lines Inc, JetBlue Airways, and AirTran made preliminary bids last week in a process led by Morgan Stanley, the sources said.
The US Airways board is to consider the offers at a meeting early next month. – AFX-Asia
STOCKHOLM: AB Volvo said its Renault Trucks unit has concluded an agreement in principle to manufacture trucks and components in China through the establishment of a joint-venture company with China's Dong Feng Motors.
Volvo said the new joint-venture company would produce Renault's Kerax heavy construction trucks for the Chinese market. – AFX-Asia
SEOUL: Korean Air Co, Asia’s fifth largest carrier by sales, has banned chicken on all inbound flights from China, Japan and South-East Asian countries on concern over the spread of the bird flu virus in the region.
The airline banned chicken on flights from South-East Asia starting Tuesday, Korean Air said in a statement. Chicken would be excluded from meals on flights from Japan and China starting today, it said.
Korean Air would instead use more non-US beef and seafood in its in-flight meals on the affected flights, it said. – Bloomberg