British Prime Minister David Cameron wants nothing to do with a United States of Europe, an idea that’s gaining currency as the countries that use the euro struggle to fix their debt crisis.
But what if it’s a choice between a single country called Europe or a splintered continent? Cameron is determined to avoid that scary scenario.
A day after he shook up Europe’s political landscape by offering British citizens the prospect of a vote on whether to stay in the 27-country European Union, Cameron insisted Thursday he wants Britain to remain a part of the bloc but that more unification would not be the answer.
To try and shoehorn countries into a centralized political union would be a great mistake, and Britain would not be a part of it, he said at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort Davos.
Tower earnings fall for year, 4th quarter
Tower Financial Corp. on Thursday reported 2012 annual earnings of $5.74 million, or $1.18 per diluted common share, a 13 percent decline from record earnings of $6.62 million, or $1.36 a share, posted for 2011.
The Fort Wayne-based parent of Tower Bank showed lower profit even though it set aside almost $1.73 million less during the year to offset unpaid loans and paid almost $703,000 less in insurance premiums to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as compared to 2011.
Additional expenses included $2.7 million paid in cash dividends and repurchase of 141,850 shares as part of a stock repurchase program.
Tower Financial also reported lower fourth-quarter earnings of $1.73 million, or 36 cents per diluted common share, a 49 percent drop from the $3.42 million, or 71 cents a share, reported for the same three months of the prior year.
RIM being eyed as acquisition target
Lenovo Group is assessing potential acquisition targets and strategic alliances, including a deal with BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd., as the second-largest producer of personal computers tries to bolster its mobile-device business.
RIM began a review of its strategic options last year after losing market share to smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone and Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy, raising speculation that it could be a takeover target.
Beijing-based Lenovo, which bought IBM Corp.’s PC unit in 2005, is considering acquisitions and adding new products as competition from tablets hampers profit growth.
Germany’s No. 2 bank could prune 6,000 jobs
Germany’s second-biggest bank, Commerzbank AG, says it plans to cut as many as 6,000 jobs over the next three years.
Commerzbank said Thursday it expects to cut between 4,000 and 6,000 jobs by 2016. The company had 56,000 employees at the end of September. The bank didn’t specify where jobs might be cut.
Toyota, BMW working on battery technology
Toyota Motor Corp. and BMW Group are working together on next-generation batteries for green vehicles called lithium-air as their collaboration, first announced in late 2011, moves ahead in fuel cells, sports vehicles and other fields.
But both sides said Thursday the partnership will not involve a capital alliance while spanning a wide range of technologies for green vehicles.