INTERNATIONAL BRIEFING

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

JAPAN

Nissan to Cut 20,000 Jobs

Nissan announced that it will cut 20,000 jobs, the deepest reduction among Japan's automakers in battling the global downturn, as it forecast its first annual loss in nine years. Chief executive Carlos Ghosn said the problems were industry-wide and due to the economic slump and the appreciating yen.

The last time Japan's third-largest automaker racked up an annual loss was for the fiscal year that ended March 2000. Nissan expects a $2.9 billion loss for the fiscal year through March -- joining a raft of other Japanese corporate giants, including Toyota, Toshiba and Sony, in slashing jobs and projecting annual losses.

EARNINGS

Barclays said its 2008 profit fell 1 percent as a one-off gain from its cut-price purchase of the North American operations of Lehman Brothers helped shore up its finances. However, Britain's third largest bank by assets warned that further asset write-downs -- on top of the massive $11.9 billion booked for 2008 -- were likely and said executive directors would not get bonuses. Barclays, which brought forward its statement to soothe market fears about its exposure to bad loans and assets, said profit attributable to shareholders during the year was $6.43 billion, down slightly from 2007. Before tax payments, Barclays said profit fell by 14 percent during the year.

Compiled from reports by Washington Post staff writers, the Associated Press and Bloomberg News.


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