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13 Apr 06. Tokyo Electron Q1 chip-making equipment orders seen up 49 pct yr/yr Tokyo Electron Ltd received orders for chip-making equipment valued at about 195 bln yen at the parent level for the three months to March, up 49 pct year-on-year, beating an earlier estimate by 35-40 bln yen, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported, citing unidentified company officials. This is the third consecutive quarterly increase and was mainly due to brisk capital spending by chipmakers, the business daily said. (Source: FT.com)

14 Apr 06. Halliburton Co. subsidiary KBR Inc. on Friday filed to raise up to $550m an initial public offering, as surging crude prices and the Iraq war boost spending by customers of the oil- and defense-services company. KBR applied to have its shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “KBR.” The company said it plans to use proceeds from the IPO mainly to repay money it owes Halliburton. KBR owes its parent $774m, in the form of a 7.5% note, due at the end of 2010, according to the company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filing. KBR, which claims it’s the biggest government defense-services provider in the world, said it generated $10.1 billion in revenue and $210 million in profit from continuing operations in 2005. William Utt, former chief executive of Suez Energy North America, will head KBR as chief executive, while Cedric Burgher, the former chief financial officer of Burger King, will be chief financial officer, KBR said. The KBR share sale could end up being the largest IPO from the aerospace and defenseindustries since Gulfstream Aerospace raised more than $800m in 1996, according to Thomson Financial data. (Source: MarketWatch)

16 Apr 06. Operating profit at South Korea’s Samsung Electronics slumped 25 per cent in the first quarter, due to falling prices of memory chips and mobile phones and a stronger local currency. However, company executives were cautiously optimistic about the second quarter, predicting that its mainstay semiconductor and flat-screen businesses would reach an inflection point in the current quarter. “Sometime during the quarter, we will see strong signs of a turnaround in our major businesses such as Nand flash and LCD,” said Chu Woo-sik, head of investor relations. “So I think finally we will see the light at the end of the tunnel.” Operating profit for the January-March period dropped to Won1,610bn ($1.6bn) from Won2,150bn a year ago, while net profit rose 26 per cent to Won1,880bn on bigger contributions from overseas subsidiaries. Sales slightly increased to Won13,960bn. Mr Chu added that the business environment in the second quarter would still be “challenging”, as the stronger won remained the biggest risk for the company. (Source: FT)

13 Apr 06. EADS, which has seen its offices searched in a defamation probe linked to false charges of money-laundering, said Thursday it had become a plaintiff in the case. “EADS today became a civil plaintiff in the defamation investigation carried out by (judges) Pons and D’Huy,” the group said in a statement. The investigators are trying to identify an anonymous informer who falsely accused a string of French figures, including top EADS executives and Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, of running secret bank accounts through the Luxembourg-based clearing house Clearstream. The defence group said the allegations, made in 2004, “had called into question the integrity of EADS and that of several of its executives, in an extremely competitive environment, seriously harming its image.” The offices of EADS vice-chairman Jean-Louis Gergorin and co-chief-executive Noel Forgeard, as well as Airbus chief executive Gustav Humbert, have been searched in recent weeks as part of the inquiry. The defamation probe, which has also targeted top French intelligence figures, was launched following legal action by two industrialists, former Thomson boss Alain Gomez, and Philippe Delmas, a top EADS executive. Investigators beli

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