Quick view: Emerging economies to challenge US hold on WB

Updated: Feb 28 2012, 06:38am hrs
Emerging economies said they will challenge a tradition that has placed an American at the head of the World Bank for decades, as the Obama administration shows sensitivity to the need for change at global institutions. Emerging economies said it was time to break a decades-old tradition that has long shut out candidates from the developing world and kept an American at the head of the WB and a European leader at the IMF.

Chipmaker Elpida files for bankruptcy

Japanese computer chipmaker Elpida Memory filed for bankruptcy after amassing debts from nose-diving prices, longtime competition from Samsung and the flooding in Thailand last year that stagnated demand. Elpida used in mobile phones and computers, reported debt of 448 billion yen ($5.5 billion) in filing for bankruptcy at Tokyo District Court on Monday. That was the largest ever for a bankruptcy in Japan in the manufacturing field, according to Teikoku Databank, which compiles such information. Elpida, set up in 1999 as a joint venture between Japanese electronics companies NEC Corp and Hitachi, has been struggling for years to close the gap with rival Samsung.

Sarkozy rules out EU treaty on referendum

French president Nicolas Sarkozy said on Monday that if he won re-election he would not hold a national referendum on the new European Union treaty on budget stability and economic governance. Sarkozy, a conservative, has proposed holding regular referendums on policy if he wins a second term in a two-round presidential election in April and May, but he said it would be difficult to put the EU fiscal compact to a public vote.

WikiLeaks publishes 5 m security think tank emails

The anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks began publishing on Monday more than five million emails from a US-based global security analysis company that has been likened to a shadow CIA. The emails, snatched by hackers, could unmask sensitive sources and throw light on the murky world of intelligence-gathering by the company known as Stratfor, which counts Fortune 500 companies among its subscribers.

Natixis: Lafarge aims for 2013 savings of $403 m

Lafarge, the French cement maker, plans cost savings of more than 300 million euros ($403 million) in 2013, Natixis reported, following a management presentation to investors in London. In the long term, Lafarge does not want to make a large- scale acquisition but instead focus on organic growth by expanding its capacity in emerging countries, Rafic El Haddad and colleagues at Paris-based bank Natixis wrote in a research note today. Chief Executive Officer Bruno Lafont intends to concentrate on certain buoyant markets including Algeria, Brazil, India, Russia and sub-Saharan countries, they wrote.

Phone hacking: News Corp to pay $951,000 to pop star

News Corp agreed to pay 600,000 pounds ($951,000) to Charlotte Church, the UK pop star, and admitted its News of the World tabloid hacked her mobile-phone messages for many years, starting when she was 16 years old. At a court hearing today in London, News Corp. lawyers said the company regularly harassed Churchs family, put them under surveillance, hacked the phone of her father and acquired details of her mothers complex medical history and suicide attempt to write scoops about the Welsh singer, now 26.