Saturday, February 7, 2009

Japanese electronics major Sharp to layoff 1,500 jobs

Japan's Sharp Corp said that it would eliminate 1,500 domestic jobs as the electronics maker predicted its first-ever operating loss this year due to the recession.

"We have decided not to renew 1,500 contract workers in Japan," Tetsuo Onishi, the company's director for accounting, told a news conference.

"By doing so, we shall build a human resource structure that meets the size of sales," he said. Top managers will also accept pay cuts and forego bonuses, he said.


Global crisis to hit China more than India, says ADB

Multilateral lending agency Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Saturday said that the impact of global financial meltdown will be much more on China than India as the Chinese economy is heavily dependent on exports.

"The extent of slowdown in China is much bigger than India because Chinese economy is more dependent on exports than Indian economy," ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda said in an interview to a news channel, adding that both China and India were not in recession.

Developing countries will have to restructure their economy and generate domestic demand besides sustaining high growth to avoid poverty, he said.

Even if the global economy recovers from the worst recession, global economic structure will be changed considerably and particularly Asian countries cannot rely on exports, he said.

Emerging economies will slowdown with negative impact on poor and Countries will have to sustain high growth to avoid poverty, Kuroda said.

The global downturn may be deeper and the recovery take longer than earlier expected, he said adding, developing Asia would not have miracle growth and further slowdown this year will be inevitable. However, Indian economy was expected to grow at around 7 per cent.

The Bank plans issuing 9-10 billion dollar bonds in the market this year. "In the next 12 months we can easily raise 9 to 10 billion dollar from capital markets Recently we issued one billion dollar bond and market response was very good", Kuroda said.

ADB yesterday announced stepping up its lending operations by several billion dollars to help Asian nations tide over the crisis.

In addition, the bank would increase the size of trade facilitation programme from $150 million to $1 billion in 2009.

The Manila-based bank facing resource constraint, however, has requested shareholders for an immediate and substantial capital increase for steps to mitigate the severity of the economic crisis in the region.


Is IBM offering jobs in India for sacked staff?

IBM is offering its recently laid-off employees jobs in “growth markets” like India and Russia through a new programme and will help with moving costs as well as provide visa assistance, media reports said.

Through the ‘project match’ programme, IBM is offering its outgoing workers in the US and Canada a chance to take an IBM job in India, Nigeria and Russia, CNN quoted an IBM internal document. The company would help exemployees “locate potential job opportunities in growth markets where (their) skills are in demand ...

“Should (the employees) accept a position in one of these countries, IBM offers financial assistance to offset moving costs, provides immigration support, such as visa assistance, and other support to help ease the transition of an international move,” the document read.


Friday, February 6, 2009

iGATE Pulls Out of Race to Acquire Satyam

With Satyam's financial statement still not available and government yet to cap its liabilities, iGATE has all but given up its interest in Satyam.

With Satyam's financial statement still not available and government yet to cap its liabilities, iGATE has all but given up its interest in buying stake in Satyam. The new Satyam board has recently appointed a new CEO and CFO.

The company had earlier said it was waiting for the new financial statement before deciding its next step, as the Satyam board had ruled out any part buy option.

Talking to CXOtoday, Phaneesh Murthy. CEO of iGATE, said, "Our interest in Satyam is weaning now. If a portion of the company is not being sold, then it does not attract me."

Over the last few weeks, reports indicate that Satyam has lost several of its top employees and many clients are also moving away, thereby making the value proposition no longer interesting for iGATE. "I believe that delay in decisions will erode the value of the company because of migration of customers and employees," said Murthy.

It is believed that iGATE was keenly looking at acquiring the manufacturing and EPR verticals of Satyam that were dominant over the years. But with the board not likely to issue Satyam's financial restatement in the near future, many of the other suitors are likely to pull out as well.

iGATE was among the early prospects, along with Larson & Turbo (L&T) and Essar, to express interest in acquiring the fourth largest software service provider. Since then the board has received three Expressions of Interest (EoI) from Mahindra Group, Hindujas and Spice Communications.

Will Infosys freeze recruitment, mulls pay cuts?

Employees of Infosys Technologies may have to live with a salary cut and without any significant increment, even as the IT bellwether has virtually frozen fresh recruitments on account of the global meltdown, a top company official has said.

"A part of our salary is determined by variable sales component, which is the percentage of the company's revenue," said Infosys' director for human resources T V Mohandas Pai.

"Since the revenues are down, the salaries will naturally be trimmed."

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a press conference here, Pai said the leading software exporter and business process outsourcing firm may also opt out of salary hikes because of the slowdown.

"The increments may not happen this year. But, if they do, they will be subdued."

Pai also maintained that the company will honour the 20,000 campus offers made last year, but added that fresh hiring has been frozen.

Infosys, India's second largest IT firm, had reported a net profit of Rs.16.41 billion ($335.5 million) for the third quarter of this fiscal, to log a 33 percent year growth. The jump was above expectations but below what it had logged in the past decade.

Speaking about the fallout of the $1.43-billion Satyam Computer Services scam, Pai said Infosys had, indeed, received offers from some customers of the rival group, which were being analysed.

"Our chief executive officer (K. Gopalakrishnan) had earlier made an announcement that we have received offers from Satyam customers," he said, adding: "But we do not go and poach on customers."

Gopalakrishnan had also said last month that there was no pro-active move on the part of his company to approach Satyam customers. "But if they come on their own, we will look into their proposals case-by-case."


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

US private cos layoff 5,22,000 jobs in January

Private sector companies in the US slashed a stunning 5,22,000 jobs in January, in yet another indication of the worsening labour market situation.

The latest ADP (Automatic Data Processing Inc) report showed that non-farm private employment on a seasonally adjusted basis, declined 5,22,000 in January 2009.

The ADP National Employment Report is based on anonymous payroll data and is maintained by Macroeconomic Advisers LLC.

In a statement today, ADP said the report for January estimates "non-farm private employment in the service-providing sector fell by 2,79,000".

While the goods-producing sector shed 2,43,000 jobs, the manufacturing industry saw the loss of 1,60,000 jobs last month.

According to the report, large businesses which are defined as those with 500 or more workers, slashed 92,000 jobs. Further, medium-size and small-size entities reduced their workforce by 2,55,000 and 1,75,000 employees, respectively.

Medium-size companies are those having 50 to 499 people whereas small-size firms are described as those with less than 50 workers.


As turmoil continues technology exports to miss target

Exports of software and services in the year to March will be sharply below an earlier forecast as the global slowdown dents Nine trends for IT in 2009 outsourcing, expanding 16-17 percent to about $47 billion, an industry body said.

The National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) said on Wednesday the export-driven sector's growth had been adversely impacted by the global financial crisis, deepening recessions, and currency fluctuations.

It had earlier forecast exports growth would range from 21-24 percent this fiscal year. "It was an exciting first half, 24 percent growth much in line with industry estimates," Nasscom chairman Ganesh Natarajan said. "In the second half, we have seen a rapid decline."

Total revenue of the software and back-office outsourcing sector, including the earnings from the domestic market, is expected to rise to $60 billion this year, down from the association's July forecast of $62-$64 billion.

It expects the sector's export revenues to rise to $60-$62 billion in the fiscal year 2010/11.
India's export-driven outsourcing companies have thrived for years by bagging contracts from overseas clients, helped by a large pool of English-speaking engineering workforce and cheaper wages.

But an economic slowdown in the United States, which accounts for more than half of the sector's export revenue, and turmoil in the global financial sector have halted the sector's scorching pace of growth.

The sector's export earnings posted growth of 29 percent to $40.4 billion in the fiscal year to March 2008.

The revelation of a massive accounting fraud at leading outsourcer Satyam Computer Services has added to the gloomy outlook for the sector, which accounts for more than 5 percent of India's gross domestic product.

Indian software firms such as Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys Technologies and Wipro provide solutions like system integration, application development, supply chain designing and back-office services.

The firms are expanding in Europe, Asia and the Middle East to lower their dependence on the United States.


Panasonic to layoff 15,000 jobs, closing 27 plants

Japan's Panasonic Corp. said Wednesday it was cutting 15,000 jobs and closing 27 plants worldwide as it braces for a big loss this due to the economic crisis.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Global downturn adds to 15 lakh layoffs in India

With global downturn taking its toll on India, about 15 lakh people employed in the exporting sector will be out of jobs by March this year, Commerce Secretary G K Pillai said today.

"We have figures from August till middle of January. We estimate something like between 7-10 lakh job losses till now," Pillai told a news channel in an interview.

He said if the slowdown, especially in the US, Europe and Japan continues, another five lakh people would be unemployed by March.

Earlier in the day, Pillai told reporters that the prospects for the country's outward trade look bleak for the next fiscal as well.

"It would be an achievement if we reach $160 billion-mark in 2009-2010," he said.

After an impressive expansion of over 30 per cent in the first six months of 2008-09, export growth has turned negative with the result that the total shipments in the current fiscal would fall much short of the $200 billion target.

Though exports account for less than 20 per cent of the country's GDP, the sector is highly employment oriented with the total estimated 6.5 crore workforce.

"Exports are going to come down and we have to live with it," Pillai said.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Are layoffs raising? Reports say 9,000 job vanishing each day

More and more people are becoming unemployed this year, with nearly 9,000 jobs vanishing worldwide on an average each day in January.

As the financial turmoil continues to rattle world economies, layoffs so far this year have crossed the 2,77,000 -mark with a stunning 80,000 job cuts announced January 26.

Right from electronics to telecom to pharma sectors, about 9,000 jobs were lost on an average every day this month.

Among the entities, construction machinery manufacturer Caterpillar, Japanese electronics major NEC and pharma giant Pfizer have announced over 20,000 job cuts each.

Dutch entities - electronics firm Philips and financial services company ING - together would be axing 13,000 jobs in the coming months.

Caterpillar, Pfizer, telecom firm Sprint Nextel Corp and home improvement retailer Home Depot together accounted for 61,000 lay-off announcements on January 26. The total job cuts announced on that day worldwide had crossed 80,000.

The bankruptcy of American electronics retailer Circuit City is expected to affect 30,000 employees whereas aluminium manufacturer Alcoa would be laying off 13,500 people.

Further, Indian conglomerate Tatas-owned UK steel maker Corus would be reducing its workforce by 3,500.

Other entities which unveiled plans to bring down headcount in January include TDK (8,000), BHP Billiton (6,000), Ericsson (5,000), Corning (4,900), Motorola (4,000), Texas Instruments (3,400), Honda (3,100), Kodak (3,000), Ford Motor (1,200) and Harley-Davidson (1,100).

Companies worldwide are bringing down their workforce as they explore ways to battle the dire economic situation. With consumer and business spending being crimped, many of the developed nations have already entered into recession.


Will Glaxo SmithKline layoff 6,000 workers?

Glaxo SmithKline, Britain's biggest pharmaceuticals company, plans to axe around 6,000 jobs around the world as it faces up to the growing challenges in the industry, a media report said.

The cuts are expected to include hundreds of British jobs, The Sunday Telegraph claimed.

"Competition from generic manufacturers and doubts about company's (product) pipelines are posing a serious threat to the sector and, ING analysts warned of an intellectual property meltdown as top-selling products come off patent and sales slow dramatically", the newspaper stated.

The pharma major's British rival, Astra-Zeneca, told the newspaper that it would cut 15,000 staff by 2013, 6,000 more than earlier stated, while industry leader Pfizer has acquired US rival Wyeth for $68 bn as it seeks to secure its future.

Glaxo SmithKline, the world's second biggest drugs company behind Pfizer, employs about 1,00,000 people and, although yet to be confirmed, a proportion of the cuts are almost certain to be among its 18,000 staff at sites across the UK, which would strike another blow to the battered economy, the report said.


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