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18 theSun | THURSDAY NOVEMBER 20 2008

business news

WASHINGTON: US auto executives there. “This is about much more

Auto execs plead warned Congress on Tuesday that their


industry was teetering on the brink of
disaster as they pleaded for a US$25
billion (RM90 billion) aid package despite
political opposition to another multibil-
than just Detroit,” Wagoner said in
his testimony.
“It’s about saving the US econo-
my from a catastrophic collapse.”
The hearings came a day after

for Congress to
lion-dollar government bailout. Senate Democrats proposed to bail
The hearings come as government and out the ailing industry with US$25
business officials around the globe decide billion in loans.
if, and how, they should commit billions The weakened economy and
of taxpayer dollars to bolster struggling global credit crisis pushed the US
automakers. government into bailing out com-

fund bailout Rick Wagoner, the head of General Mo-


tors Corp, bluntly told the Senate Banking
Committee why the executives were
panies including insurer American
International Group Inc; investment
bank Bear Stearns; and mortgage
companies Fannie Mae and Freddie
Mac.
Wagoner; Robert Nardelli, head
of Chrysler LLC; Alan Mulally, CEO
of Ford Motor Co; Ron Gettelfinger,
head of the United Auto Workers
union; Michigan Senator Debbie
Stabenow and economist Peter
Morici all testified on Tuesday.
For the first time, the CEOs
confirmed how much they are ask-
ing from the government. General
Motors is seeking between US$10
and US$12 billion, Ford is seeking
roughly US$8 billion and Chrysler
would get US$7 billion.
The auto industry in Europe is
also under pressure.
The EU is studying support for its
carmakers, and industry Commis-
sioner Guenter Verheugen signalled
support for a German offer to help
the Opel unit of GM.
But others insisted there could
be no special treatment for the
industry, and the future of Opel is
unclear.
“You cannot compare the car
sector with the financial sector,”
Competition Commissioner Neelie
Kroes said, referring to the mass
bailouts by EU governments last
month of key banks because of the
financial crisis.
Legislation under consideration
by US lawmakers would provide
funding on top of US$25 billion of
loans approved earlier this year for
the companies to improve their tech-
nologies and create a line of more
fuel-efficient vehicles. – Reuters

Economic gloom deepens in Asia


TOKYO: Japan’s No. 3 bank “The next issue depends on newspaper reported earlier it
joined larger rivals seeking to how the nations of the world planned raise about ¥400 bil-
raise funds to counter growing supply financial support,” par- lion (RM14.76 billion) to finance
bad loans, deepening the eco- ticularly in China, Nomura chief the redemption of outstanding
nomic gloom in Asia yesterday, executive Kenichi Watanabe preferred securities and beef
as markets fretted over the fate told a media lunch. up a capital base hit by a rise
of the sinking US car industry. Japan’s third-largest bank, in bad loans.
The head of Nomura Hold- Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Share prices in Seoul and
ings Inc, Japan’s biggest broker- Group, said it plans to issue pre- Tokyo fell and the yen rose as
age, offered a glimmer of hope, ferred securities, becoming the risk-averse investors worried
saying he thought the global latest Japanese bank to bolster about the deepening damage to
liquidity crisis was over. But he its capital. corporate profits and consumer
added the world’s real economy SMFG said it had not decided spending despite a late rally on
was now the problem. on the amount, but the Yomiuri Wall Street. – Reuters