English | 中文版 |  Русский

Breaking News:

Source: www.asiaecon.org |

SINGAPOREAN COMPANIES


Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. (SPH), the country’s largest newspaper publisher, announced plans to cut wages and bonuses of 3,000 employees and to impose a hiring freeze to reduce costs amid the country’s deepest recession. The lower salaries are expected to decrease the overall wage bill of the company by 20 percent.



Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. (SPH), the country’s largest newspaper publisher, announced plans to cut wages and bonuses of 3,000 employees and to impose a hiring freeze to reduce costs amid the country’s deepest recession. The lower salaries are expected to decrease the overall wage bill of the company by 20 percent.

SPH had already frozen wages for senior management and slowed hiring last year as they experienced a 35 percent decline in their fourth quarter profit to S$73 million (US$47.6 million). Workers earning less than S$2,000 a month will not see changes to their wages, but those paid more than S$2,000 will have their wages cut by 2 to 10 percent. Declining advertising demand is blamed for the decrease in the company’s revenue.

“With the decline in newspaper profits, there will be a concomitant reduction in profit-related bonuses,” the SPH statement said. “The move is the latest cost-cutting measure in response to the sharp deterioration in business conditions.”

SPH Chief Executive Officer Alan Chan aims to prepare his company for a prolonged recession. “We need to bring our costs down in the face of a weaker advertising market and uncertain business environment,” he said. “It is imperative that we prepare for a longer-than-expected downturn.”

Other Singaporean companies are suffering similar negative effects from the
global economic downturn. Earlier this month, Singapore Airlines Ltd., who recently announced plans to cut 11 percent of its capacity, offered over 14,000 workers the option of as much as two years of unpaid leave to deal with its surplus manpower arising from its planned capacity cuts. Its employees would have to decide whether or not to accept the offer by the end of the month.

Moreover, Singapore’s Media Development Authority (MDA) recently announced plans to spend over S$250 million to create and support 2,000 jobs in the country’s media industry this year. The majority of the money will be used to stimulate a strong pipeline of high-value and exportable projects. The MDA had called for proposals for public service programs and original TV concepts that can be distributed on television, mobile and the Internet as well as proposals to help transform the country into a digital music hub.

Singapore’s workers are acting swiftly to help mitigate the negative effects of the global economic downturn. It was recently reported that the Singapore Labour Foundation (SLF) is pledging S$2 for every dollar that unions raise, totaling some S$1 million, to help retrenched colleagues and others in need. This is part of a new S$20-million fund that the labour movement aims to create by the first half of the year with the help of its cooperatives, affiliated unions and unionized companies. The fund will also help needy families pay for their children’s school expenses and cover part of their utility bills.

“Our unions have limited resources. It is also not easy for them to raise funds from union members and unionized companies especially during the downturn,” Labour chief Lim Swee Say said. “Yet, our union leaders have come out strongly to support the fund-raising effort for the U Care Fund.”

Singapore’s export-oriented economy, whose exports and re-exports sector accounted for over 188 percent of gross domestic product in 2007, is forecast to contract by as much as 10 percent this year, forcing companies to fire staff, cut wages and conserve money. It had already contracted by an annualized rate of 16.4 percent in the final quarter of 2008 from the previous three months, the sharpest decline in 33 years.

Because of the recession, Singapore may lose over 99,000 jobs by 2010, driving the unemployment rate to 5 percent by the middle of next year, a report made by DBS Bank Ltd. said. The country’s unemployment rate already rose to 2.6 percent in the last quarter from 2.2 percent in the previous three-month period.

Source: www.AsiaEcon.org
Please send comments and constructive suggestions to feedback@AsiaEcon.org

Source: www.asiaecon.org |


More Special Articles - Asia Business & Economy Articles