Khamis, 16 Januari 2014

The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

Honda boosts output with Pegoh plant’s second line

Posted: 16 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

ALOR GAJAH: Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd has opened the No. 2 line at its factory in Pegoh which will double total production capacity from 50,000 to 100,000 vehicles annually.

President and chief executive officer of Asian Motor Co Ltd Hiroshi Kobayashi said the new line, with a total built-up area of 49,190 sq m, comes 11 years after the No. 1 line was opened in January 2003, and took less than a year to complete with a total investment of RM382mil.

"We are positive that Malaysia will help achieve the long-term growth of the Honda brand and we remain firm in our commitment to provide good products with speed, affordability and low C02 (carbon dioxide) emissions to meet the growing market," he said at the opening ceremony graced by International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed yesterday.

With the opening of the No. 2 line, Honda looks forward to assembling more vehicles for the growing Malaysian market, particularly in the small model and hybrid segment which has seen rapid growth over the past couple of years.

Currently, Honda Malaysia assembles the City, Civic, CR-V, Accord and both the Jazz petrol and hybrid variants at its Pegoh plant.

Meanwhile, managing director and chief executive officer of Honda Malaysia Yoichiro Ueno said the automative industry in Malaysia had shown rapid growth in the past five years with continuous support from the Government especially in promoting energy-efficient vehicles.

"We have set our mid-term plan to make an additional investment of RM1bil in three years starting in 2012, to the manufacturing and sales network and with the mid-term goal of achieving 100,000 unit sales by 2016," he said.

In order to achieve more affordable prices for Malaysian customers, Honda Malaysia was targeting to enhance the localisation of component parts from the previous 30%-40% to over 70% in the near future., he said, adding: "This can be achieved with a combination of hard work of our associates to implement advanced technologies and the expansion of component suppliers." – Bernama

Study: Overweight Americans who pick diet drinks eat more food

Posted: 16 Jan 2014 05:21 PM PST

WASHINGTON: Heavy Americans who drink diet beverages rather than those sweetened with sugar appear to eat more, according to a study released on Thursday that raised questions about the role lower-calorie drinks play in helping people lose weight.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University analyzed data from a U.S. survey of 24,000 people over a period of 10 years. People who were overweight or obese generally consumed the same amount of calories a day no matter what they drank, but those who chose diet drinks got more of those calories from food.

Outside experts were quick to caution that it is not clear what role, if any, diet drinks such as low- or no-calorie versions of sodas, sports drinks and teas played for people who ate more.

In the study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, overweight drinkers of diet beverages in the United States ate 1,965 in food calories a day compared to 1,874 calories among heavy people who drank regular sugar-sweetened beverages.

Among obese diet beverage drinkers, those who consumed low- or no-calorie drinks ate 2,058 calories a day in food versus 1,897 food calories for those who had regular drinks, researchers said.

Such differences were statistically significant, they added.

Lead author Sara Bleich said the results, when paired with other research, suggest that artificial sweeteners may affect people's metabolism or cravings, although more study is needed.

She acknowledged that people could be deciding to eat more since they are saving calories with their diet drinks.

"The push to diet soda may not make a lot of sense if you are then also eating more solid food," Bleich said. "The switch from a sugary beverage to a diet beverage should be coupled with other changes in the diet, particularly reducing snacks."

Critics said the analysis, based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey between 1999 and 2010, is flawed and that it is too early to say what, if any, role the low-calorie drinks or their artificial sweeteners play in weight loss.

Several researchers noted that the study did not track a set group of people over time and only looked at a 24-hour snapshot of what any individual consumed.

The beverage industry, which has long promoted diet drinks as an alternative to full-calorie beverages, defended such alternatives to help manage weight.

"Losing or maintaining weight comes down to balancing the total calories consumed with those burned through physical activity," the American Beverage Association said in a statement on Thursday.

Low- or no-calories drinks contain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose. Many beverage companies are also turning to other alternatives, such as the extract of Stevia.

Kelly Brownell, a professor psychology and neuroscience at Duke University and dean of its Sanford School of Public Policy, said while the study was compelling and there are still many questions about such sweeteners, more data is needed.

"People need to separate the biology from the psychology," he said.

Bonnie Liebman, the director of nutrition at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said while her group may have other questions about artificial sweeteners, "it's premature to conclude that it's something going on in your brain."

In the meantime there are other ways to watch your weight, she said: "You're much better off with water - or coffee or tea, if they're unsweetened."- Reuters

US Industry Summary

Posted: 16 Jan 2014 05:16 PM PST

Analysis: Time Warner Cable customers may not see quick fix from merger

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Charter Communications Inc, as it campaigns to win over investors in its bid to acquire Time Warner Cable, has suggested that a change in control could be a godsend to the often-disgruntled customers of Time Warner Cable. But if Charter is successful in its bid, customers of Time Warner Cable, the No. 2 U.S. cable provider, who complain about Internet speeds and video may not see improvements anytime soon. And if they're hoping that their bills will be smaller, they may be disappointed.

Using the Force: Lucasfilm opens Singapore creativity centre

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - "Star Wars" creator Lucasfilm formally expanded its creative universe on Thursday by launching its visual effects and animation hub in Singapore that works on Hollywood blockbusters and bolsters marketing efforts in fast-growing Asia. "May the Force be with you," Lee Hsien Loong, the prime minister of the Southeast Asian city-state, said in a speech at the glass-enclosed and horseshoe-shaped "Sandcrawler" building.

Exclusive: Charter, Comcast in renewed talks on Time Warner Cable bid

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Charter Communications Inc reached out to Comcast Corp this week about teaming up to buy Time Warner Cable Inc, after the larger rival rejected its $37.3 billion takeover bid, according to people familiar with the matter. Charter approached Comcast on Wednesday to discuss carving up the second-largest U.S. cable company's systems and subscribers, the people said, asking not to be named because they were not authorized to speak with the media.

Falcone says he didn't know Ergen was buying LightSquared debt

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Phil Falcone, the billionaire investor whose Harbinger Capital Partners owns wireless satellite company LightSquared, said Thursday he expended considerable energy in 2012 and 2013 trying to work out who was buying up LightSquared's debt. The purchases, which later turned out to have been made by Dish Network Corp Chairman Charles Ergen, are at the center of a trial in the U.S. bankruptcy court in New York this week.

KKR, Permira sell remaining stake in ProsiebenSat.1

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - ProsiebenSat.1 shareholder KKR said on Thursday that it would divest the remaining shares it holds jointly with Permira in the German broadcaster. The two buy-out firms would place the 36.3 million shares or about 17 percent they own in ProSiebenSat.1 in an accelerated bookbuilding process with institutional investors that will start immediately, KKR said in a statement.

Time Warner Cable investors would back higher Charter deal: sources

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A number of Time Warner Cable shareholders would support a merger withCharter Communications Inc if Charter raises its current bid for the larger rival to $41 billion or more, according to people close to the matter. Charter on Monday formally offered to buy Time Warner Cable for $132.50 a share, or $37.3 billion, based on shares outstanding. Time Warner Cable's board swiftly rejected that bid as "grossly inadequate" and said it was open to a sale at $160 per share.

Time Warner Cable executives 'failed,' Charter says in push for deal

(Reuters) - Charter Communications unleashed a verbal attack on Time Warner Cable on Tuesday, saying the cable operator's executives had "failed" as Charter tried to rally investors to accept its bid. Charter's top executives slammed Time Warner Cable for having the industry's lowest customer satisfaction and "negative momentum." Charter argues that Time Warner Cable is better off in its hands because its management can spearhead a turnaround of its larger rival.

Investor Khosla: '60 Minutes' cleantech segment full of errors

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Venture capitalist Vinod Khosla on Tuesday issued a harsh rebuke to "60 Minutes" a week after the news magazine TV show broadcast a report saying that Silicon Valley and Washington have little to show for their investments in clean technology. In an open letter to both "60 Minutes" and its network, CBS, Khosla said a January 5 segment for which he was interviewed "grossly misrepresented the state of the sustainable energy industry."

Axel Springer, others interested in Forbes: report

(Reuters) - Forbes Media, the company known for its namesake magazine and ranking the world's richest people, has caught the attention of six different companies including Germany's Axel Springer, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Other interested companies, the Journal said, include Chinese investment company Fosun InternationalSpice Global, an investment conglomerate based inSingapore; private equity firm Oxley Group in Singapore; investment management company Whale Capital Group in China; and the president of Forbes conferences, Jack Laschever who is leading an investment group.

British phone-hacking trial shown footage of alleged Brooks' cover-up

LONDON (Reuters) - The trial of Rebekah Brooks, who ran Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper arm, was shown film footage on Tuesday of what the prosecution alleges was her husband's attempt to hide evidence from police investigating accusations of phone-hacking. The day Brooks was first quizzed by police, and before her home was searched, prosecutors say her husband, racehorse trainer Charlie Brooks, hid a laptop and a bag behind a bin in an underground parking lot of their plush Londonapartment block where it was picked up by the Brooks's security team.


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