Foreign news in brief

  • Business
  • Saturday, 02 Apr 2005

TOKYO: Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp said yesterday it had sold its 6.7% stake in second-ranked Philippine lender Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) for US$132mil, but declined to name the buyer. 

Sumitomo Mitsui, the core unit of Japan's No. 3 bank group Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG), said the sale was part of a broader re-examination of its overseas holdings, but declined to comment on whether more sales were planned. 

“It's true that we sold the stake,” a spokesman for the Japanese bank said. “This is part of a rethinking of our foreign investments.” - Reuters 

NEW YORK: The Securities and Exchange Commission has subpoenaed PricewaterhouseCoopers, the auditor of American International Group Inc, as authorities investigate accounting at the large insurance company, sources familiar with the situation said on Thursday. 

On Wednesday AIG acknowledged accounting errors that could stretch back 14 years and included improper accounting of reinsurance transactions and setting up offshore units. 

Sources said that PWC, which has been AIG's auditor for more than three decades, was fully co-operating with the probe. – Reuters 

SEOUL: Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co, an affiliate of the world's biggest shipbuilder, received an order to build six container vessels valued at 264bil won (US$260mil).  

The order was for a company based in Germany, said Hyundai Mipo, owned by South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries Co, in a filing to the Korea Stock Exchange yesterday. – Bloomberg 

LOS ANGELES: Walt Disney Co, the second-largest US media company, and Hearst Corp named Betty Cohen to replace Carole Black as chief executive officer of the companies' Lifetime Entertainment Services Inc joint venture.  

Black's last day at Lifetime was March 21, Lifetime spokeswoman Katherine Urbon said in an interview. Burbank, California-based Disney and closely held Hearst, which each own half of Lifetime, said in a statement that Cohen will begin her new job April 26. She will be responsible for day-to-day operation of the company, owner of the Lifetime cable-television channel. – Bloomberg  

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