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theSun | MONDAY NOVEMBER 24 2008 17

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Slump in Europe spreads wider
BERLIN: The global economic slump unit of Germany’s Allianz.
has already hit the European auto, The crisis looks like it will hit the
chemical and transport sectors, and it services sector too.
looks like the list will soon get longer. Advertising companies are directly
Problems in the key auto sector, affected by the auto sector slowdown
the first to be slammed by the crisis because car makers are often among
as sales plummeted, have rippled out their biggest clients.
to parts suppliers and then on to the In Germany, which has fallen into its
chemical and steel industries. first recession in five years, car makers MOL eyes 80% market share in
Last week, German chemical giant have cut advertising budgets by around online games payments
BASF said it would temporarily shut 10% this year, according to the adver- KUALA LUMPUR: MOL AccessPortal Bhd plans to increase
down 80 plants, affecting 20,000 staff tising federation ZAW, which sees a flat its market share in the online games payment market to
worldwide, and rival Rhodia announced market overall next year. 80% by June next year from 70% currently, said its president
it would cut back production at three In France, outdoor advertising group and chief executive officer Ganesh Kumar Bangah.
French sites by 40%. JCDecaux has lowered its forecast for He said to further cement MOL AccessPortal’s market
Others will likely do the same after sales growth this year. share, the company is going to tie up with various channels,
the European Chemical Industry Council Owing to falling demand, air trans- leveraging on its newly launched application, MOL Zone.
forecast a general reduction in output port saw a drop in the number of pas- “I’m quite confident that by mid next year, we will able
next year, excluding pharmaceutical sengers in September for the first time to make 80% market share in online games payments
products. in five years and the sharpest drop in market,” he told a media conference after the launch of
As for steel producers, the com- freight in seven years. its multi-application mobile payment service called MOL
bined effects of lower prices and a Forecasts for next year are not Zone here on Saturday.
sharp drop in demand led analysts at optimistic either. MOL Zone, which is a mobile application that can be
US investment bank JP Morgan to write: The biggest European airline, Air downloaded, is available for free to users. – Bernama
“We expect European steel industry France-KLM, has remained cagey about
earnings to drop by 43% in 2009.” its outlook for 2008/2009 while German
In Belgium, the steel company carrier Lufthansa lowered its target for
Japan seeks China’s
Umicore said “the rapid deterioration of this year at the end of October. contribution to IMF
the global car market and announced Given the 15-nation eurozone’s LIMA: Prime Minister Taro Aso on Saturday asked Chinese
production cuts at various auto mak- first ever recession, businesses are President Hu Jintao to follow Japan’s commitment to
ers” would make it miss its 2008 profit trimming their travel budgets and raise funds to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
target. households are doing the same. Hu replied that his country wants to make an effort
“Each sector is feeling the slowdown In the rail sector, Eurostar trains to jointly reform the global financial system with Ja-
because all areas of the economy are have been affected by the crisis since pan, but stopped short of accepting Aso’s request, the
linked to one another,” Commerzbank its Paris-London service is “in the heart official said.
analyst Joerg Kraemer said. of a major business traffic route and The two leaders held talks after dinner with their
The construction sector is slumping therefore affected by the economy,” Asia-Pacific partners on the first day of their annual
across the continent and “it would be said Mireille Faugere, director of long- summit in Lima. During the talks, Aso noted Japan’s
hazardous to forecast a noticeable distance services at the French railway announcement of a plan to lend up to US$100 billion
improvement ... before the end of the SNCF. (RM360 billion) from its foreign exchange reserves to
decade,” according to a recent study by When exports slump, freight the IMF to help provide financial lifeline to crisis-hit
credit insurance group Euler Hermes, a services quickly feel the effects. – AFP emerging countries. – AFP