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World financial crisis

Package for auto industry debated after 50,000 jobs cut by Citigroup

Article published on the 2008-11-18 Latest update 2008-11-19 14:26 TU

(Photo: Reuters)

(Photo: Reuters)

Share prices in Asia fell on Tuesday a day after US bankers Citigroup said it would cut 50,000 jobs. The group is expected to reduce its number of employees to 300,000 from a previous high of 375,000 at the end of September.

A spokesperson for the group said however that it remained committed to the Asian region. The Bank of America meanwhile has said it will double its stake in China Construction Bank to just over 19 per cent.

China's Ministry of Labour has said it will impose a freeze on minimum wage to help Chinese companies while in South Korea President Lee Myung-Bak told his cabinet to ensure market interest rates dropped, in line with a 1.25 cut in the central bank rate.

Taiwan's government said on Tuesday that it will distribute over 100 US dollars in shopping vouchers in an attempt to encourage the country's economy which slowed in September.

Debate over how to help the automobile industry continues. The carmaker Ford is to sell its 20 per cent stake in the Japanese firm Mazda. The shares are worth 515 million dollars (based on Tuesday's share price). Ford has lost 129 million dollars in this year's third quarter.

The head of the Eurogroup of Eurozone Finance Ministers, Jean-Claude Juncker, gave his support for a European "rescue strategy" for the auto industry. This, as US Congress debates a possible loan of 25 billion dollars to support the industry.

Bad news also hit the air industry on Tuesday with British company Easyjet declaring a fall in net profits by 45 per cent in 2007.

Interview: Garrel Rhys, automotive expert, Cardiff Business School