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Tough going

Here is a recap of the spillover effects of the ongoing economic imbroglio in the past fortnight, across the globe.

Print Edition: March 19, 2009

Depression, recession, bear market... all have translated to job scares, a slowdown in demand and panic attacks. Here is a recap of the spillover effects of the ongoing economic imbroglio in the past fortnight, across the globe.

Lay-offs
- Royal Bank of Scotland to cut 20,000 jobs worldwide as it targets annual cost cuts of about £1.5 billion.
- Global auto parts major, Federal-Mogul, to lay off 600 workers at its Bengaluru plant.
- IT giant Sun Microsystems has sacked over 150 employees in India.

Hiring
- Ford India to add 1,000 more employees to its operations this year.
- Panasonic India to hire 100 sales staff members and set up a new manufacturing facility for household appliances next year.
- Fast-food chain KFC to create 9,000 jobs in the UK as part of its expansion drive in the country.
- India's first rural BPO, Fostera, is set to hire 500 more people this year.

News from boardrooms
  1. Unitech has dropped plans to develop two of its six IT parks in the face of a slump in industry demand.
  2. Hindustan Motors has cut salaries of managers and executives by 10-12.5%.
  3. None of the seven consortiums shortlisted for Mumbai Metro's Phase 2 participated in the financial bids.
  4. Ashok Leyland to slash wages by 20%.
  5. HSBC and Barclays to pay bonuses of up to £2 billion in the next few weeks.
  6. Jet Airways has cut three of its biggest loss-making overseas routes.
  7. Satyam Computer Services to relocate 1,500 of its onsite support staff to low-cost destinations


Bargains and deals
-Save 50% on five-night holiday packages by Tourism Fiji.
-$172 per person is the starting price for cruises being offered by eCruises.com.
-Pay what you want for lunch at Little Bay restaurant at Farringdon, UK.

Extras
-Microsoft is asking the employees it had laid off to return portions of their severance salaries that it had apparently overpaid.
-The number of hits for online search for retail discount vouchers jumped a massive 143% in the final quarter of 2008 in Eurozone countries, according to Hitwise, which tracks one million Websites.

Quotes
Jobs must be protected even if it means some reduction in compensation... We must share equally the pain of this crisis.
- Pranab Mukherjee, External Affairs Minister

There is a period of painful adjustment ahead of us. However, once the global economy begins to recover, India's turnaround will be sharper and swifter.
- D. Subbarao, RBI Governor

Where flats are more expensive, the drop in prices will be sharper than where they are cheaper... correction is bound to come.
- Deepak Parekh, Chairman, HDFC

Policies

-Obama has unveiled a $275-billion housing rescue plan.
-India Infrastructure Finance Co. Ltd. has lowered the ticket size of investments on its taxfree bonds from Rs 1 crore to Rs 10 lakh. They are part of the stimulus package and will offer a 6.8% return.

Brands and celebs
Vrooming ahead
Ferrari saw a sales increase of 2% globally in 2008. The Italian supercar builder sold 6,587 cars last year, 122 more than in the previous year. As many as 1,700 of them were sold in recession-hit America. In fact, Ferrari's US sales jumped 26%, the highest in all the markets.

Salary cut for Immelt
General Electric has reduced CEO Jeff Immelt's salary by 28% as he has asked that no bonus be given to him because of a drop in GE's profits.

No increments for CBS Paramount's staff
CBS Paramount is asking the on-air talent on the majority of its dramas to forego their annual raises and keep their salaries flat next season (multi-year contracts typically have built-in standard, yearly increases).

No show
Designers Vera Wang (left), Carmen Marc Valvo and Betsey Johnson are hoping to save between $100,000 and $750,000 by staying out of the high-profile New York Fashion Week. They will showcase their new collections privately.

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