An­gry in­vestors okay chip unit sale

New Straits Times - - Business -

CHIBA: An­gry in­vestors lam­basted Toshiba ex­ec­u­tives at a share­hold­ers meet­ing, here, yes­ter­day af­ter it warned an­nual losses could bal­loon to more than US$9 bil­lion (RM39.7 bil­lion) but agreed to the sale of its mem­ory chip unit, the jewel in the firm’s crown.

The heated meet­ing comes a day af­ter the huge con­glom­er­ate said its trou­bled atomic re­ac­tor maker Westinghouse Elec­tric had filed for bank­ruptcy pro­tec­tion in the United States.

Toshiba, one of the pil­lars of cor­po­rate Ja­pan, warned on Wed­nes­day its an­nual losses mainly tied to Westinghouse could blow out to 1.01 tril­lion yen (RM40 bil­lion), com­pared with an ear­lier pro­jected short­fall of 390 bil­lion yen.

The com­pany has de­layed for­mally re­port­ing its earn­ings over the prob­lems at Westinghouse, in­clud­ing whistle­blower claims about ac­count­ing mis­con­duct by se­nior ex­ec­u­tives at the unit.

Yes­ter­day’s meet­ing was held to get share­holder ap­proval to spin-off Toshiba’s mem­ory chip busi­ness, seen as key for the com­pany to turn it­self around. The mo­tion was ap­proved.

“It’s un­for­giv­able that they could book a tril­lion yen loss — man­age­ment should quit,” said a 75-year-old in­vestor.

Mean­while, in Shang­hai, China’s State Power In­vest­ment Corp said Westinghouse’s bank­ruptcy fil­ing would not have a “sub­stan­tial im­pact” on the coun­try’s nu­clear plans and the two sides would en­sure a key AP1000 re­ac­tor project would be com­pleted on sched­ule this year. Agen­cies

REUTERS PIC

Share­hold­ers ar­riv­ing at Toshiba’s ex­tra­or­di­nary share­hold­ers meet­ing in Chiba, Ja­pan, yes­ter­day.

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