Thursday, April 30, 2009

ArcelorMittal Prices Common Stock and Convertible Senior Note Offerings

Luxembourg, April 29th, 2009 (22:00 CET) – ArcelorMittal (“the Company” or "the Issuer") ") is pleased to announce the pricing of its offerings of common shares and convertible senior notes, announced earlier today.
The Company announces that it has now priced its common shares and convertible senior notes
offerings. Total aggregate proceeds from the offerings are approximately $3.5 billion (exclusive of any proceeds attributable to the underwriters’ possible exercise of their over-allotment options described below) or $4 billion (assuming full exercise of those options), in each case before deduction of underwriting discounts and commissions.
The Company has agreed to sell 125,143,915 common shares at a public offering price of 17.10 EUR (US$22.77 at a $/EUR conversion rate of 1.3318) per common share. In addition, the Company has granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to an additional 15,738,719 common shares in the 30 day period following the date hereof.
The Company also announced the pricing of its public offering of $700 million aggregate principal
amount of 5 percent convertible senior notes due May 15, 2014. The Company has granted the
underwriters an option to purchase up to an additional $100 million aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes in the 30 day period following the date hereof. Interest on the convertible senior notes will be paid semi-annually at a rate of 5 percent per year, and the convertible senior notes will mature on May 15, 2014, unless earlier repurchased or converted. The convertible senior notes will be convertible at the holder’s option into shares of ArcelorMittal common stock (or, at the option of news release ArcelorMittal, into cash or a combination of cash or common stock) at an initial conversion ratio of 33.1675 shares of common stock per $1,000 principal amount of convertible senior notes, which is equivalent to an initial conversion price of approximately $30.15 per share of common stock, subject to adjustment in certain circumstances. This initial conversion price represents a premium of approximately 32.4 percent relative to the public offering price of ArcelorMittal’s common stock of 17.10 EUR (US$22.77 at a $/EUR conversion rate of 1.3318) per share in the common stock offering.
The offerings are scheduled to close on May 6, 2009, subject to satisfaction of customary conditions.
The closing of each offering is not contingent on the closing of the other. The Company intends to use the proceeds of the common stock offering for general corporate purposes and to strengthen its balance sheet and the proceeds of the convertible senior note offering to lengthen its debt maturity profile and refinance existing indebtedness under various revolving credit facilities, with maturities ranging from 2010 until 2012.
Goldman Sachs International is acting as Sole Global Coordinator and Bookrunner for the offerings. CALYON and Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking also are acting as Bookrunners . Morgan Stanley is acting as a Joint Bookrunner. BNP Paribas, ABN AMRO, HSBC Bank Plc, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase are acting as Co-Bookrunners. The Issuer has filed registration statements (each including a prospectus) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) for the offerings to which this communication relates. Before you invest, you should read the prospectus in that registration statement and other documents the Issuer has filed with the SEC for more complete information about the Issuer and this offering. You may get these documents for free by visiting IDEA on the SEC web site at Alternatively, copies may be obtained from Goldman, Sachs & Co., Attn: Prospectus Department, 85 Broad Street, New York, NY 10004, call toll-free 1-866-471-2526, or fax 212-902-9316, or email This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any shares of common stock, any convertible notes or any other securities, nor will there be any sale of shares of common stock, of convertible notes or any other securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.
This press release may contain forward-looking information and statements about ArcelorMittal and its subsidiaries. These statements include financial projections and estimates and their underlying assumptions, statements regarding plans, objectives and expectations with respect to future operations, products and services, and statements regarding future performance. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the words "believe, " "expect," "anticipate," "target" or similar expressions. Although ArcelorMittal's management believes that the
expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, investors and holders of ArcelorMittal's securities are cautioned that forward-looking information and statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of ArcelorMittal, that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially and adversely from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward-looking information and statements. These risks and uncertainties include those Page 3 of 4
discussed or identified in the filings with the Luxembourg Stock Market Authority for the Financial Markets (Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier) and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") made or to be made by ArcelorMittal, including ArcelorMittal's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2008 filed with the SEC. ArcelorMittal undertakes no obligation to publicly update its forwardlooking
statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
No communication and no information in respect of the offering of securities may be distributed to the public in any jurisdiction where a registration or approval is required. The offering or subscription of securities may be subject to specific legal or regulatory restrictions in certain jurisdictions. ArcelorMittal takes no responsibility for any violation of any such restrictions by any person.
In relation to each Member State of the European Economic Area and which has implemented the Prospectus Directive (each, a "Relevant Member State"), no action has been undertaken or will be undertaken to make an offer to the public of the securities requiring a publication of a prospectus in any Relevant Member State. As a result, the securities may only be offered in relevant member states:
(i) to legal entities which are authorized or regulated to operate in the financial markets or, if not so authorized or
regulated, whose corporate purpose is solely to invest in securities;
(ii) to any legal entity which meets two or more of the following criteria: (1) an average of at least 250 employees
during the last financial year; (2) a total balance sheet of more than euro43 million; and (3) an annual net turnover
of more than euro50 million, as shown in its last annual or consolidated accounts;
(iii) in any other circumstances, that would not require publication of a prospectus by ArcelorMittal under article 3(2)
of the Prospectus Directive.
For the purposes of this provision, the expression an "offer to the public" in relation to any Securities in any Relevant Member State means the communication in any form and by any means of sufficient information on the terms of the offer and any Securities to be offered so as to enable an investor to decide to purchase any Securities, as the same may be varied in that Member State by any measure implementing the Prospectus Directive in that Member State and the expression "Prospectus Directive" means Directive 2003/71/EC and includes any relevant implementing measure in each Relevant Member State.
This press release is not an invitation nor is it intended to be an inducement to engage in investment activity for the purpose of Section 21 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 of the United Kingdom (the "FSMA"). To the extent that this press release does constitute an inducement to engage in any investment activity, it is directed only at (i) persons who are outside the United Kingdom, (ii) persons who are investment professionals within the
meaning of Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (as amended) of the United Kingdom (the "Financial Promotion Order"); (iii) persons who fall within Articles 49(2)(a) to (d) ("high net worth companies, unincorporated associations etc.") and Article 43(2) of the Financial Promotion Order; and (iv) any other persons to whom this press release for the purposes of Section 21 of FSMA can otherwise lawfully be communicated (all such persons together being referred to as "relevant persons"), and must not be acted on or relied upon by persons other than relevant persons. Any invitation or inducement to engage in any investment activity included within this press release is available only to relevant persons and will be engaged in only with relevant persons. Anyone other than a relevant person must not rely on this press release.
Goldman Sachs International is acting solely for ArcelorMittal and no-one else and will not be responsible for providing the protections afforded to customers of Goldman Sachs International to any other person. No representation or warranty, express or implied, is or will be made as to, or in relation to, and no responsibility or liability is or will be accepted by Goldman Sachs International or by any of its affiliates or agents as to or in relation to the accuracy or completeness of this release, or any other written or oral information made available to or
publicly available to any interested party or its advisers and any liability therefor is hereby expressly disclaimed.

About ArcelorMittal

ArcelorMittal is the world's leading steel company, with operations in more than 60 countries.
ArcelorMittal is the leader in all major global steel markets, including automotive, construction, household appliances andpackaging, with leading R&D and technology, as well as sizeable captive supplies of raw materials and outstanding distribution networks. With an industrial presence in over 20 countries spanning four continents, the Company covers all of the key steel
markets, from emerging to mature.
Through its core values of sustainability, quality and leadership, ArcelorMittal commits to operating in a responsible way with respect to the health, safety and wellbeing of its employees, contractors and the communities in which it operates. It is also committed to the sustainable management of the environment and of finite resources. ArcelorMittal recognises that it has a
significant responsibility to tackle the global climate change challenge; it takes a leading role in the industry's efforts to develop breakthrough steelmaking technologies and is actively researching and developing steel-based technologies and solutions that contribute to combat climate change. 
In 2008, ArcelorMittal had revenues of $124.9 billion and crude steel production of 103.3 million tonnes, representing approximately 10 per cent of world steel output.
ArcelorMittal is listed on the stock exchanges of New York (MT), Amsterdam (MT), Paris (MT), Brussels (MT), Luxembourg (MT) and on the Spanish stock exchanges of Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid and Valencia (MTS).


Non-Profit Coalition Dedicated to Inspiring a New Era of Change in America
Who: Bernard Fornas, President & CEO of Cartier International, Frédéric de Narp, President and CEO of Cartier North America, Alan Khazei, the founder and CEO of Be The Change, Inc., a lead organizer of the ServiceNation campaign, and Demi Moore.

What: Cartier announced partnership with ServiceNation with a Trinity bracelet to benefit the charity. The new limited-edition Trinity bracelet in 18k yellow, rose and white gold and diamonds, will be sold on individual red, white and blue silk cords at all Cartier boutiques nationwide. The Trinity bracelet sale and benefit to ServiceNation is in conjunction with Cartier’s 100th Anniversary in America celebration and exhibit, Cartier… 100 years of passion and free spirit in America.  

Support from Cartier will help ServiceNation implement the next phase of its campaign, which will focus on inspiring millions of Americans to step forward for community and national service, and connecting them with meaningful and high-impact service opportunities. Background on ServiceNation.

ServiceNation ( is a coalition of 190 nonprofit organizations that seeks to expand opportunities for Americans to serve at every life-stage and make service a core element of the nation’s culture. The ultimate vision of the ServiceNation coalition, which has a collective reach of some 100 million, is that by 2020 one million Americans annually will volunteer for a year of national service, and another 100 million will spend time as community volunteers. ServiceNation is dedicated to inspiring a new era of service in America and unleashing the energy of citizens on the nation’s most pressing social challenges.  

Details on Cartier… 100 years of passion and free spirit in America: 

The exhibition opens at the Cartier Fifth Avenue Mansion in New York from May 1st – 21st before moving to Cartier’s Beverly Hills Rodeo Drive boutique from June 1st – 14th. The exhibition will display 100 one-of-a-kind Cartier Collection jewelry creations and will be showcased along side pieces loaned from private collections of some of Cartier’s most celebrated clients.  


Non-Profit Coalition Dedicated to Inspiring a New Era of Change in America
Who: Bernard Fornas, President & CEO of Cartier International, Frédéric de Narp, President and CEO of Cartier North America, Alan Khazei, the founder and CEO of Be The Change, Inc., a lead organizer of the ServiceNation campaign, and Demi Moore.

What: Cartier announced partnership with ServiceNation with a Trinity bracelet to benefit the charity. The new limited-edition Trinity bracelet in 18k yellow, rose and white gold and diamonds, will be sold on individual red, white and blue silk cords at all Cartier boutiques nationwide. The Trinity bracelet sale and benefit to ServiceNation is in conjunction with Cartier’s 100th Anniversary in America celebration and exhibit, Cartier… 100 years of passion and free spirit in America.  

Support from Cartier will help ServiceNation implement the next phase of its campaign, which will focus on inspiring millions of Americans to step forward for community and national service, and connecting them with meaningful and high-impact service opportunities. Background on ServiceNation.

ServiceNation ( is a coalition of 190 nonprofit organizations that seeks to expand opportunities for Americans to serve at every life-stage and make service a core element of the nation’s culture. The ultimate vision of the ServiceNation coalition, which has a collective reach of some 100 million, is that by 2020 one million Americans annually will volunteer for a year of national service, and another 100 million will spend time as community volunteers. ServiceNation is dedicated to inspiring a new era of service in America and unleashing the energy of citizens on the nation’s most pressing social challenges.  

Details on Cartier… 100 years of passion and free spirit in America: 

The exhibition opens at the Cartier Fifth Avenue Mansion in New York from May 1st – 21st before moving to Cartier’s Beverly Hills Rodeo Drive boutique from June 1st – 14th. The exhibition will display 100 one-of-a-kind Cartier Collection jewelry creations and will be showcased along side pieces loaned from private collections of some of Cartier’s most celebrated clients.  

Statement of Finance Ministry on inflation

Annual year-on-year rate of inflation, which had hovered below 0.5 per cent for 6 weeks since March 2009, increased by 31 basis points to 0.57 per cent in the week ended April 18, 2009 from 0.26 per cent in the previous week. 

Year-on-year Inflation by Commodity groups Inflation rates by commodity groups in this week are as follows: 

i. Primary Articles: inflation increased by 132 basis points to 5.7 per cent in the current week, from 4.4 per cent in the week ended April 11, 2009. In ‘food articles’, inflation was higher at 7.4 per cent, compared to 7.1 per cent in the earlier week. In ‘non-food articles’, inflation increased to 1.9 per cent compared to 1.3 per cent in the previous week. In ‘minerals’, the rate of inflation turned positive at 3.5 per cent after eleven weeks of negative rates. 

ii. Fuel and Power: negative inflation has eased marginally to (-) 5.8 per cent in the week as against (-) 5.9 per cent in the previous week. 

iii. Manufactured Products: inflation rate increased marginally to 1 per cent in the current week, from 0.9 per cent in the earlier week, following increased rate in food products (sugar and oil cakes). 

Inflation in the food index (wt = 25.43 per cent) for the week ended April 18, 2009 increased to 7.7 per cent from 6.9 per cent in the previous week. In its sub-component of primary food, the increased rate of inflation came from cereals, pulses, fruits, condiments & spices and tea. In the sub-group of manufactured food, inflation has been higher in sugar and negative inflation has eased in edible oils.

Ennore Coke attains critical mass – first coke pushed successfully

Kolkata April 29th, 2009. Ennore Coke the only merchant coke producer in the east coast has successfully pushed coke into its batteries in its plant located in Haldia. With this push, which was ceremoniously held on the auspicious day of the Bengali New Year, Ennore Coke became the second listed company in the domain to produce metallurgical coke, a vital ingredient for the steel industry.
A jubilant Ganesan Natarajan, Wholetime Director & CEO of the company, the moving spirit behind the company said “this is a proud moment for us and I would like to take the opportunity of thanking every member of the Ennore Coke family who have toiled ceaselessly to achieve this milestone.” 
The successful pushing of coke is the first stage of the process of coke making which will culminate with the company attaining its full capacity of producing 130,000 MTPA of coke within end May 2009. Ennore Coke will also co-generate 12 MW of power, which in turn will generate “carbon credits” and further add to the company’s bottom-line. 
“We are a conscious corporate citizen, aware of our duties to the nature and have therefore not only implemented the most advanced green technologies, but will also strive to offset the carbon footprint by co generating electricity” said Mr Natarajan.
Metallurgical Coke is commodity that India does not have in sufficient quantities and has to depend on imports. Coupled with a shooting demand from the local industries – steel in particular and also China is presently not exporting , the prices of the commodity have been on a global upswing with availability becoming a cause of grave concern. Being the only listed, stand alone merchant coke producer in Eastern India, Ennore coke is poised to quickly reach a position of preeminence and reap the full benefits of a massive demand – supply imbalance. “the market for coke is colossal” said Mr Natarajan, “and we at Ennore Coke have some impressive plans which may be a bit premature to divulge in the present. Suffice to say, this is just the beginning and as a long term value based player, we will put all resources at command to build on our successes.”
The location in Haldia too is a huge advantage. With the steel making facilities quietly moving towards its natural habitat in Eastern India, demand for coke in the region too is expected to move up exponentially providing Ennore Coke the advantage of being where the action will be apart from according it the advantages of lower Áeight costs.
“West Bengal is in the resurgent mode. And we are happy to be a part of this economic upsurge” said Mr Natarajan. “All the ingredients for the manufacture of steel are here in eastern India, except good quality coking coal and coke. We hope to bridge this gap by sourcing quality metallurgical coal from around the world and converting it to coke for the consumption of the local industry and while doing so, become the biggest and the best in the business”.  

Recession takes its toll: Luxury hotels offering big discounts…. reveals five top destinations offering luxury accommodation on a budget 

28th April 2009: With the global financial crisis encouraging hoteliers around the world to substantially reduce their room rates to attract guests, there has rarely been a better time for Indian travellers to indulge in five star luxury hotels on their travels. With great deals to be had at the premium end of the hotel market around the world, global hotels specialist has selected five top destinations - Bali, Las Vegas, Prague, London and Hong Kong.

Johan Svanstrom, Managing Director Asia Pacific of, says, “The high end of the hotel market has traditionally been available only to a select few, but now many more travellers can treat themselves to a bit of luxury and experience a champagne lifestyle without breaking the bank.” 

“If travellers are prepared to be flexible with their travel destination and travel dates, they can find great deals to indulge in a stay in a luxury hotel on a modest budget. The current deals at for luxury accommodation will certainly have our many travellers wake up happy,” he said. 

The India website ( or provides Indian travellers with easy access to over 99,000 hotels around the world, and thousands of special deals available. Travellers are able to search by maps, facilities and hotel star ratings, as well as by specific geographic locations and neighbourhoods. 

Proven to be increasingly important to modern travellers when researching online, customers are also able to read and post user reviews of hotels, making it even easier for both business and leisure travellers to select and book the hotel of their choice.

Mr Svanstrom said many hoteliers are now also including added bonuses such as complimentary airport transfers, free car parking, as well as food and drink vouchers or spa treatments for staying customers. “When you add up the cost of the extras that are sometimes included, the price is now comparable to, or even providing better value than, hotels at the lower end,” Mr Svanstrom said. 

As a result of the global economic downturn, air tickets as well as lavish dining andentertainment experiences in many cities around the world have also become more affordable to travellers.’s Five Top destinations:


A favoured destination for many travellers looking to splash out on all the trimmings, this destination has plenty to offer for those seeking an extravagant getaway. Bali has plenty of luxury accommodation as well as idyllic day spas, bargain luxury brand shopping and delicious food in upmarket restaurants. 

The Laguna Resort & Spa - Nusa Dua 

Located in the sunniest part of Bali, nestled among the majestic Nusa Dua peninsula on Bali's most beautiful beach, the Nusa Dua is a secluded paradise offering white sandy beaches and beautiful blue waters in the "Jewel of the East." 
From Rs8,090* per room per night

 The InterContinental 

The exclusive InterContinental Bali Resort is located in Jimbaran Bay, adjacent to 500 meters of white-sand beach and is set on acres of tropical landscaping. 
From as low as Rs6,525* per room per night

Las Vegas 

It’s easy to feel like a high-roller in Las Vegas, where these days it won’t cost the earth to splash out on a chauffeur-driven limousine or a personal shopping guide – so you really can live like a rock star without having to break the bank. Whether you choose to stay in the penthouse, sip fabulous cocktails made by internationally renowned flare artists, see a world-class show or tie the knot, everything is possible now in Vegas!

Trump Hotel Las Vegas 

Overlooking the famous Las Vegas ‘Strip’, and owned by legendary business tycoon Donald Trump, this five-star hotel features a signature 24-carat, gold-tinted glass facade. From Rs4,500* per room per night including US$50 Spa Credit


Showcasing approximately 1,000 fountains dancing to opera and classical music at the entrance, the ultra-luxury Tuscan- style Bellagio is located in the heart of Vegas. From Rs7,030* per room per night


This laid-back European city oozes luxury, from the grandeur of the gothic architecture right through to the glitzy designer shopping. Cultural treasures of art, opera, theatre and ballet are at your doorstep to enjoy. Many of the city’s five star hotels in the Old Town or along the river, with views of the Charles Bridge and medieval Prague Castle, are available for under Rs7,500* per night.

MaMaison Riverside Prague

The MaMaison Riverside Prague is in the centre of Prague on the west bank of the River Vltava and housed in an Art Nouveau property.From Rs6,070* per room per night 

Marriott Prague

Centrally located at the gate of Old Town Square on the East side of the Vlatava River, this hotel has Prague's largest spa.From Rs7,180* per room per night 


With the global economic downturn really biting in the UK, and discounting in the luxury retail and hospitality sectors rife, London is the ideal destination if you want to experience ‘high culture’ in luxury and at prices never seen before in what is normally a rather expensive destination. Travellers seeking a glamorous London experience are spoilt for choice, whether it’s taking in a star-studded stage production at a West End theatre, shopping in well-heeled Knightsbridge, taking in a concert of one of London's five symphony orchestras, or relaxing in a chic Soho wine bar. Extravagance is literally at every turn in London – now enjoy it for less! 

 Andaz Liverpool Street – a Hyatt Hotel

Built in 1884, this hotel was redesigned for the millennium. The hotel's health club has a fitness room with personal trainers and yoga instruction available.From Rs8,495* per room per night

Plaza on the River, London

On the south bank of the River Thames, the Plaza on the River offers stunning views of the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye. From Rs7,485* per room per night

Hong Kong 

Renowned for its dramatic skyline and beautiful harbour setting, Hong Kong is not only a leading financial capital but also one of Asia’s most luxurious cultural hub’s. This cosmopolitan centre, where East meets West, is famously renowned for its shopping prowess. All designers of note have a presence in Hong Kong, where labels can often be found at a much more affordable price than in Europe or North America. The fusion of East and West also characterises Hong Kong's cuisine, where opulent restaurants offer a variety of international foods. 

 Langham Place Hotel Mongkok, Hong Kong 

This hotel provides luxurious European-style ambience with views of Victoria Harbor and within walking distance of the ferry.From Rs7,335* per room per night

InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong

This hotel, located on the Victoria Harbour, is just 500 meters from the Hong Kong Museum of Art and is well suited to business and leisure travellers alike.From Rs7,130* per room per night


As part of the Expedia group which operates in all major markets with dedicated staff, ( or offers more than 99,000 quality hotels worldwide, with a wide range of special deals available. is the global hotel specialist and operates over 50 websites globally, with 13 local websites in 8 different languages across Asia Pacific alone. If a customer can find the same deal for less on a prepaid hotel, will match it. benefits from one of the largest hotel contracting teams in the industry negotiating the best rates for its users, plus user-contributed reviews of its properties. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Luxembourg, April 28, 2009 - ArcelorMittal (referred to as “ArcelorMittal”, or the “Company”) (MT (NewYork, Amsterdam, Brussels, Luxembourg, Paris) MTS (Madrid), the world’s leading steel company, today announced results for the three months ended March 31, 2009.
Highlights for the three months ended March 31, 2009:

· Shipments of 16.0 million tonnes, down 6% as compared to Q408
· Sales of $15.1 billion, down 32% as compared to Q408
· EBITDA1 of $0.9 billion, in-line with guidance
· Net loss of $1.1 billion due in part to $1.2 billion exceptional charges pre-tax2
· Net debt of $26.7 billion at the end of Q109 and pro forma3 liquidity of $13.2 billion

· Extension of maturity to 2012 of $6.34 billion in debt through Forward Start5 facilities and completion of $1.6 billion (€1.25 billion) convertible bond issuance on April 1, 2009

Marketing update:

· Potential for price increase during Q209 and Q309 across major markets and products

Enhanced industrial and financial plan:
· Continuing temporary production cuts in-line with reduced demand
· Industrial optimization measures implemented resulting in more than $6 billion of annualized
temporary fixed cost reductions in Q1 2009, and expected to increase to more than $7.5 billion
on an annualized basis in Q2 2009
· Confirming target to achieve management gains of $2 billion of sustainable SG&A and fixed
cost reduction in 2009
1 EBITDA is defined as operating income plus depreciation, impairment expenses and exceptional items.
2 During the first quarter of 2009, the Company recorded exceptional charges amounting to $1.2 billion pre-tax related primarily to write-downs of inventory.
3 Pro forma liquidity position includes the $1.6 billion (EUR 1.25 billion) cash proceeds from convertible bond that settled on April
1, 2009.
4 Includes additional $0.3 billion of Forward Start facilities announced on April 28, 2009
5 AForward Start facility is a committed facility to refinance an existing facility upon its maturity.

· Reiterating working capital rotation days6 target of 75-85 days during 2009
· Re-affirming target to reduce net debt by $10 billion by the end of 2009

Guidance for second quarter 2009:
· EBITDA expected to be between $1.2-1.5 billion.
Commenting, Mr. Lakshmi N. Mittal, Chairman and CEO, ArcelorMittal, said:
“Strong measures have been taken to reduce our cost considerably and liquidity remains healthy with
an extended debt maturity profile. Although market conditions remain challenging, a technical recovery
is inevitable and ArcelorMittal will benefit from this.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

World Finance Chiefs Back Moves to Support Recovery from Crisis

World financial leaders said they are committed to taking the needed action to ensure recovery from the deepest global recession since the Great Depression and backed moves to greatly expand the lendable resources of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to combat the crisis and provide a social safety net for the world’s poorest.

The IMF’s policy steering body, the 24-member International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), underlined the central role of the Fund in helping to restore growth and in regularly monitoring the policy actions taken by governments around the world to assess if more action is needed.

IMFC Chairman Youssef Boutros-Ghali, the Egyptian Finance Minister, said participants could see signs of future recovery. "We have serious problems. We are taking very serious measures. But things are beginning to look up. Carefully, cautiously, we can say that there is a break in the clouds."

IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said the pace of global recovery depends significantly on the effectiveness of measures to dispose of bad loans currently on the books of major banks. 

Unprecedented policy response

Finance ministers, central bank governors, and development ministers gathered in Washington for the Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank amid the worst crisis to hit the global economy since the twin institutions were established toward the end of World War II.

An unprecedented policy response to the global economic crisis—including the recent expansion of resources for international institutions and the IMF’s enhanced lending framework—is gradually beginning to restore market confidence, the IMF said.

But in its semiannual Global Financial Stability Report, released April 21, the IMF warned that the challenges to restoring financial stability remain significant.

“Continued decisive and effective action is needed to preserve and strengthen these first signs of improvement, and to help provide a more stable and resilient platform for sustained global growth,” José Viñals, Financial Counsellor and Director of the IMF’s Monetary and Capital Markets Department, said.

Growth to reemerge next year

The latest forecast by the IMF in its World Economic Outlook shows the global economy contracting in 2009 by 1.3 percent. While the rate of contraction should moderate from the second quarter of 2009 onward, output per capita is projected to decline in countries representing three-quarters of the global economy. Growth is projected to reemerge in 2010, but at 1.9 percent it would be sluggish relative to past recoveries.

IMF Chief Economist Olivier Blanchard told reporters that the world economy was being battered by competing crosscurrents, with the collapse in confidence and demand continuing to pull the economy down and government stimulus measures and natural stabilization mechanisms pulling the economy up.

“This is not the time for complacency, and the need for strong policies, both on the macro and especially on the financial fronts, is as acute as ever. But, with such policies in place, there is light at the end of this long tunnel. World growth can turn positive by the end of this year, and unemployment can start decreasing by the end of next year.” 

The meeting of the IMFC and the Development Committee followed the forceful action agreed in London on April 2 by the leaders of the Group of Twenty (G-20) industrialized and emerging market economies to combat the crisis, which has also started to affect the world’s poorest countries.

In a communiqué issued on April 25, the IMFC made the following key points:

• Ensuring recovery. Fund members are committed to taking additional action to ensure economic recovery, including restoring the financial health of banks, taking cooperative action to ensure the soundness of systemically important institutions, and maintaining expansionary policies.

• Assessing policy action. The IMFC reiterated an earlier call by G-20 leaders for the IMF to regularly assess the actions taken to restore global growth and recommend what still needs to be done.

• Avoiding protectionism. The IMFC called for an urgent conclusion to the Doha Round of trade talks, which will help boost recovery in the global economy, and stressed the importance of avoiding protectionism.

• Improving IMF economic surveillance. The committee stressed the need for both the IMF and its members to enhance the effectiveness of Fund surveillance, including paying attention to sources of systemic risks.

• Boosting IMF resources. The committee backed moves to triple IMF lendable resources to $750 billion, initially through bilateral loans from member countries and later through an expanded and more flexible New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB).

• Backing reform of IMF lending and conditionality framework. The IMFC welcomed the overhaul of the IMF’s lending framework, including the creation of a new Flexible Credit Line and the doubling of access limits for all borrowers.

• Supporting low-income countries. To strengthen what the IMFC termed the global financial safety net, the committee supported a doubling of concessional lending capacity for low-income countries and moves to look into making loans to the poorest more concessional. The IMFC also urged major donor countries to live up to past aid commitments.

• Issuing SDRs. The committee called for rapid approval of a one-time allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), the IMF’s quasi-currency, and a general allocation before the October IMF Annual Meeting in Istanbul of a $250 billion SDR allocation. This would also provide low-income countries an extra $19 billion.

• Encouraging quota and voice reform. The IMFC supported moves to improve representation of dynamic emerging markets and low-income countries, including through prompt ratification of quota and voice reforms agreed in April 2008 and work on a new quota formula before the 2009 Annual Meetings.

• Reforming Fund governance. The committee called for broader reforms to ensure the active participation of the IMFC in the Fund’s strategic decision making process.

The IMFC has 24 members who are governors of the Fund, ministers, or others of comparable rank. The membership reflects the composition of the IMF's Executive Board. 

Possible bond issue

The IMF is seeking ways to augment its resources so that it can lend more during the current crisis. So far it has lent, or committed resources through lines of credit, more than $100 billion to help countries get through the crisis and combat the global economic slump.

Some countries or regions, such as Japan and the European Union, have committed resources directly to the IMF. Strauss-Kahn told reporters that another way to raise resources was for the IMF to place bonds with several countries, such as China.

Strauss-Kahn said the IMF’s Executive Board has already been briefed on the possibility and “now we are discussing with the different creditors the way to implement, the amount they will put in.”

“I'm sure that this vehicle will be used since it provides flexibility. And, it is interesting for many countries,” he added, saying the Fund had prepared a template for the standard form of the agreement with countries that would invest in these notes.

Apart from China, he did not say which countries might be interested, but said there would be quite a few. These bonds would be placed directly with the interested members rather than in private capital markets.

‘Exit Strategy’ 

Strauss-Kahn also told reporters while there is broad agreement among IMF members that fiscal stimulus measures in individual countries were necessary, they differed on the need now for an “exit strategy” from their emergency moves for when the crisis passes. 

But he said that from the IMF’s point of view, “the exit strategy has to be taken into account as soon as possible.”

Early warnings

The IMF and the Financial Stability Board have started joint semi-annual Early Warning Exercises, aimed at identifying emerging risks and highlighting essential preemptive policy actions. As input to this work, the IMF has expanded its vulnerability analyses to include advanced as well as emerging economies, the Managing Director told the IMFC.

Development Committee

At the Development Committee, which advises the Fund and the World Bank on issues relating to developing nations, ministers warned that the crisis in developing countries could turn into “a human and development calamity.”

“Hard-earned progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is now in jeopardy,” the committee said in a communiqué. “The crisis has already driven more than 50 million people into extreme poverty, particularly women and children. We must alleviate its impact on developing countries and facilitate their contribution to global recovery.”

The committee urged donor countries to translate their commitments into concerted action and additional resources.


April 28, 2009 – Evraz Group S.A. (LSE: EVR) today announces its audited financial results for the year ended 31 December 2008.

Highlights for FY 2008: 

Revenue advanced 58.5% to US$20,380 million reflecting strong pricing during the first three 
quarters of the year, acquisitions and an improved sales mix
Consolidated adjusted EBITDA rose 46.9% to US$6,323 million
Net profit attributable to equity holders of Evraz Group S.A. decreased by 11.2% to 
US$1,868 million affected by significant one-off charges and write-downs totalling 
US$1,857 million and the challenging market environment in the fourth quarter of 2008
Operating cash flow increased by 52.6% to US$4,569 million, reflecting higher profit and the 
ongoing focus on working capital management

Crude steel production increased by 7.1% year-on-year to 17.7 million tonnes
Total steel sales volumes rose 3.9% to 17.0 million tonnes 
Revenues of vanadium segment increased by 106.9% to US$1,206 million
Sales volumes of vanadium products rose 18.9% year-on-year to 26,400 tonnes in vanadium 

Iron ore self-coverage of 93%
Coking coal self-coverage of 89% 

Corporate developments and acquisitions: 
Acquisition of Claymont Steel for US$420 million completed in January
Acquisition of IPSCO Canada for US$2,450 million completed in June
Acquisition of select Ukrainian assets for US$1,110 million and 4,195,150 new Evraz shares 
completed in September
Successful bond placements totalling US$2.0 billion completed in April and May


April 28, 2009 – Evraz Group S.A. (LSE: EVR) today announces its audited financial results for the year ended 31 December 2008.

Highlights for FY 2008: 

Revenue advanced 58.5% to US$20,380 million reflecting strong pricing during the first three 
quarters of the year, acquisitions and an improved sales mix
Consolidated adjusted EBITDA rose 46.9% to US$6,323 million
Net profit attributable to equity holders of Evraz Group S.A. decreased by 11.2% to 
US$1,868 million affected by significant one-off charges and write-downs totalling 
US$1,857 million and the challenging market environment in the fourth quarter of 2008
Operating cash flow increased by 52.6% to US$4,569 million, reflecting higher profit and the 
ongoing focus on working capital management

Crude steel production increased by 7.1% year-on-year to 17.7 million tonnes
Total steel sales volumes rose 3.9% to 17.0 million tonnes 
Revenues of vanadium segment increased by 106.9% to US$1,206 million
Sales volumes of vanadium products rose 18.9% year-on-year to 26,400 tonnes in vanadium 

Iron ore self-coverage of 93%
Coking coal self-coverage of 89% 

Corporate developments and acquisitions: 
Acquisition of Claymont Steel for US$420 million completed in January
Acquisition of IPSCO Canada for US$2,450 million completed in June
Acquisition of select Ukrainian assets for US$1,110 million and 4,195,150 new Evraz shares 
completed in September
Successful bond placements totalling US$2.0 billion completed in April and May

Ombudsman's main concern remains lack of transparency in EU administration

By far the most common allegation examined by the European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, in 2008 was lack of transparency in the EU administration (36% of inquiries). This included the refusal of information or documents. Other types of alleged maladministration concerned late payments for EU projects, unfairness, abuse of power and discrimination. 

At the presentation of his Annual Report 2008 in Brussels, Mr Diamandouros said: "An accountable and transparent EU administration is key to building citizens' trust in the EU. I therefore call on the European Commission to amend its proposals to reform the legislation on public access to documents in order to give the widest possible access to citizens and other stakeholders."

In 2008, the Ombudsman received 3,406 complaints from EU citizens, companies, NGOs and associations. In almost 80% of cases, the Ombudsman was able to help the complainant by opening an inquiry into the case, transferring it to a competent body, or giving advice on where to turn. The Ombudsman closed a record number of inquiries in 2008 (355 inquiries). In total, he handled over 7,700 complaints and information requests. After his intervention, the EU administration settled bills, paid interest, released documents, remedied injustices and put an end to discrimination. 

The Ombudsman noted an increasing number of complaints from companies, associations, NGOs, regional offices and other organisations in 2008 (26% of inquiries were based on this type of complaints). Mr Diamandouros commented: "I am working hard to reach out to stakeholders who are in contact with the EU administration, for example, in the framework of EU projects. I am happy to see that they increasingly use my services to help solve problems they encounter."

Most of the inquiries in 2008 concerned the European Commission (66%), followed by the European Parliament, the European Personnel Selection Office, the Council and OLAF. 

Germany produced the greatest number of complaints (16%), followed by Spain (10%), Poland (8%) and France (7%). But relative to the size of their population, most complaints came from Malta, Luxembourg, Cyprus and Belgium. 

The Ombudsman was pleased to note that 36% of all investigations either were settled by the institution complained against or were the result of a friendly solution. In 44 cases, the Ombudsman issued a critical remark. One special report was sent to the European Parliament concerning age discrimination in the Commission.

TI-Pakistan calls Holder of Public Office Act "National Reconciliation Act"

Demand for setting up of an Independent Accountability Commission 
Karachi, Pakistan, 27 April 2009 

The Holder of Public Office (Accountability) Act 2009, to repeal the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Ordinance 1999, is a vague bill, made only for the elected parliamentarians, and excluding civil servants, local government members, as well as armed services. It is actually a National Reconciliation Act, a continuation of the National Reconciliation Ordinance. The bill requires major modifications. It begins with a wrong notion, as it defines its aim to repeal the National Accountability Ordinance 1999, and to enact a new law of accountability. The purpose should be for establishing an Independent Accountability Commission to eradicate corruption, as it has been committed by the major political parties PPP, PML (N) and PML (Q), in their election manifesto in 2007. 

Syed Adil Gilani, Chairman Transparency International Pakistan said that this proposed law, if made an Act of Parliament, will allow corruption to flourish and the corrupt to enjoy its benefits without fear of prosecution. He said that the bill presented in the National Assembly is stated to be according to a demand agreed in the Charter of Democracy (COD), but, this is not the case. The COD calls for the Accountability of the NAB and other Ehtesab operators to identify and hold accountable the abuse of office by NAB operators through perjury and perversion of justice and violation of human rights since its establishment. It calls “to replace the politically motivated NAB with an Independent Accountability Commission, whose Chairman shall be nominated by the Prime Minister in consultation with the Leader of Opposition and confirmed by a Joint Parliamentary Committee, with 50 percent members from treasury benches and remaining 50 percent from opposition parties in same manner as appointment of judges through transparent public hearing.”

Stainless steel ThyssenKrupp Tailored Strips in auto mufflers reduce weight and emissions

Lightweighting is an increasingly important objective for auto manufacturers. Every gram of weight saved reduces CO2 emissions and thus makes the vehicles eco-friendlier. To meet these requirements, ThyssenKrupp Nirosta has developed an innovative solution using ThyssenKrupp Tailored Strips, which comprise strips of different thickness matched exactly to the stresses acting on the part. For the first time, this new technology is now being used in a stainless steel production part – a rear muffler made by automotive supplier Eberspächer for the new BMW 730d in the diesel version. It was developed by ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks in conjunction with ThyssenKrupp Nirosta and Eberspächer as innovation partners. 

Currently, stainless steel of uniform wall thickness is used in the construction of exhaust systems. The material thickness is selected to be able to handle the highest mechanical, temperature and corrosive stresses. ThyssenKrupp Tailored Strips now allow the thickness and properties of the materials used in exhaust systems to be matched exactly to various local requirements. This not only opens up completely new areas of application for tailored steel solutions, it also offers advantages for production. "The material is more readily formable in critical areas. In addition, the production process is highly flexible when it comes to combining different thicknesses and widths," says Stefan Schuberth, head of the Applications Technology department at ThyssenKrupp Nirosta. "Tailored strips technology allows our customers to take entirely new approaches to production and cost cutting." The new product will be offered by ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks.

Compared with a normal muffler with a constant wall thickness of 1.2 millimeters, ThyssenKrupp Tailored Strips allow in order to the demand wall thickness of between 0.7 and 1.2 millimeters. On the rear muffler of the BMW 730d, for example, this leads to a weight saving of 700 grams. Applying this process to other parts of the exhaust system can reduce the weight of a mid-size car by up to three kilograms.

ThyssenKrupp Tailored Strips are made by joining two or three coils of different grade, thickness or finish by laser welding. Another unusual feature of this unique process is that the slit strips can be welded continuously to lengths of several hundred meters. The technology was developed by ThyssenKrupp Steel and is used exclusively on the world's only line of this kind at the Gelsenkirchen plant of ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks. This groundbreaking technology not only makes it possible to join strips of different thickness, it also allows combinations of different stainless steel grades within a material group. In the future, it will also be possible to combine grades from different material groups. 

Motorola Powers Unwired Fiji's Mobile WiMAX Network

--Motorola's WiMAX solution enables highly reliable and scalable communications services for Pacific island nation

SINGAPORE, April 28, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- SUNTEC -- (WiMAX Forum Congress Asia 09) -- Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) announced today that it has been selected by Unwired Fiji to design and deploy an end-to-end 802.16e-based WiMAX network to upgrade and provide increased capacity to the operator's existing network for expansion of network coverage and capacity. The deployment allows Unwired Fiji to offer advanced broadband services supported by Motorola's carrier-grade communications equipment and services, strengthening the operator's leading market position in the region. 

Unwired Fiji, the country's first wireless broadband Internet service provider, is dedicated to building a nationwide, state-of-the-art telecommunications network, offering full Internet services and bringing the media mobility experiences to home users and businesses. The WiMAX network deployment is expected to be completed in 2009, and the operator plans to launch services progressively this year. 

"It is a challenge for us to provide reliable and superior telecommunications services cost effectively in Fiji, where the population density is low," said William Parkinson, chief executive officer of Unwired Fiji. "Motorola's scalable WiMAX solution provides us with a network upgrade path that should meet our growing demands while achieving outstanding service quality at a lower cost. After the deployment, our most advanced network in the market will allow us to offer cutting-edge services to customers." 

Unwired Fiji will use the new WiMAX network to offer high-speed Internet access services to a broad range of consumers and business users at competitive prices. The new wireless technology will also allow the operator to provide true mobile broadband services in the next phase of development. Users will be able to experience video on mobile devices and enjoy other media rich applications while they are on the move, realizing the personal wireless broadband vision in Fiji. 

"With our leading end-to-end WiMAX solutions and expertise, we are able to design, supply and deploy a world-class network for Unwired Fiji to enable its future growth," said Eric Starnes, vice president of sales and operations, Home & Networks Mobility, Motorola Asia. "Our carrier-grade WiMAX solutions are flexible and scalable enough for mobile networks of various size and layout. They are also affordable for operators with smaller operations, allowing them to reserve head room for further business growth." 

About Unwired 

Unwired Fiji is a private Fijian registered company dedicated to building a nationwide, state of the art telecommunications network offering full Internet services. Unwired Fiji is the first true wireless broadband Internet service in Fiji. Network deployment from 2005 to 2007 saw Unwired expand the first Pre-WiMAX in the Pacific. The recent inclusion of Data Nets Limited (an existing communications operator in Papua New Guinea) as a shareholder will see the deployment of WiMAX (802.16e) on the main island in 2009.

About Motorola 

Motorola is known around the world for innovation in communications and is focused on advancing the way the world connects. From broadband communications infrastructure, enterprise mobility and public safety solutions to high-definition video and mobile devices, Motorola is leading the next wave of innovations that enable people, enterprises and governments to be more connected and more mobile. Motorola (NYSE: MOT) had sales of US $30.1 billion in 2008

Companies can curb corruption risks with updated anti-bribery framework

Berlin, 28 April 2009 

As the risk environment increases for companies worldwide, Transparency International (TI) today published the latest edition of a cutting-edge multi-stakeholder code that sets out best practice for companies seeking to address the threat of bribery. 

Changes to foreign bribery laws and a recent trend towards more vigorous enforcement of such laws have shown that a failure to address bribery can exact a very high cost on companies. The 2009 edition of the Business Principles for Countering Bribery is a useful and current tool for companies dealing with the challenge and risks posed by bribery. The tool reflects recent developments in anti-bribery practice worldwide and incorporates approaches by business, academia and civil society. 

“The current economic crisis is a sobering reminder of what can happen when companies ignore or fail to manage risks to their business,” noted Jermyn Brooks, Director of Private Sector Programmes at Transparency International. “In these difficult economic times, companies may be tempted to relax their consideration of risk in order to reduce costs or in their search for new markets,” cautioned Brooks. “But, more than ever, enterprises need to be aware of and effectively manage the full range of risks they face, including that of bribery.” 

Since its initial publication in 2003, the Business Principles have been used by many leading companies around the world to benchmark their own anti-bribery policies and procedures. The tool has also served as a solid basis for the development of other anti-bribery codes and voluntary initiatives 

The 2009 edition charts new territory by placing greater emphasis on public reporting of anti-bribery systems and in recommending that enterprises commission external verification or assurance of their anti-bribery programme. 

Highlights of the 2009 Business Principles for Countering Bribery: 

how enterprises should apply their programme to business relationships with a focus on the leadership role of the Board of Directors and senior management
special emphasis on the anti-bribery standards enterprises should establish in their business relationships by providing greater detail on companies’ management of subsidiaries, joint ventures, agents, contractors and suppliers
details on how a company’s anti-corruption programme should cover bribes, political contributions, charitable contributions and sponsorships, facilitation payments, gifts and hospitality

The Business Principles were developed by an international Steering Committee drawn from business, academia, trade unions and NGOs who contributed to the 2009 edition, which was updated to reflect changes in anti-bribery practice.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Worldsteel Short Range Outlook

London, 27 April 2009 – The World Steel Association (worldsteel) forecasts that worldwide apparent steel use is expected to decline by -14.9% to 1,018.6 million metric tons (mmt) in 2009 after declining by -1.4% (1,197 mmt) in 2008. However, steel demand is expected to stabilise in the latter part of 2009 leading to a mild recovery in 2010.
The worldsteel Board reviewed the forecast for 2009 at its meeting in London on 26April. Commenting, Daniel Novegil, Chairman of the worldsteel Economics Committee said: “The progression of the US financial crisis into a global economic crisis brought about a massive and regionally synchronised global decline of steel demand in late 2008. For most of the world this trend has continued into the first quarter of 2009. Improvement in steel consumption for the second half of 2009 will depend on the effects of government stimulation packages, the continued stabilisation of financial systems and a return of some consumer confidence. Steel remains a vital core material for today and tomorrow’s world and the industry is well positioned to respond to changing market conditions.”
Within the NAFTA region, the US is expected to show the largest decline in steel demand in the post-war period. In 2009, apparent steel use is expected to fall by -36.6%. 
Europe will be the most affected region outside NAFTA. The EU 27, Other Europe, and CIS regions are expected to show a decline of more than 25% in their apparent steel use in 2009.
Japan has also been affected by a sharp decline in the exports of its steel-using industries, especially automotive and machinery. Apparent steel use is expected to fall by -20.4% in 2009.
Emerging economies are being affected by the economic crisis as well, but to a lesser degree. India is projected to have a positive growth of 2% for apparent steel use in 2009 and BRIC countries as a whole are forecasted to contract by only -5.9%. Projected apparent steel use for the world, excluding BRIC, is down -22.3% in 2009.
China is expected to witness negative growth of -5% in apparent steel use in 2009 as the ongoing global economic crisis hits China’s exports in addition to the effects of a slowing domestic economy. The last time that China’s apparent steel use recorded negative growth was in 1995 when apparent steel use fell by -17.2% following the real estate bubble burst. Apparent steel use for the world excluding China is expected to decline by -20.4% in 2009.
The Board will review a Short Range Outlook for 2010 at its Board Meeting in October 2009 in Beijing.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Interface ranked No.1 global company in commitment to sustainability

25th April 2009: Interface has been ranked No.1 in the GlobeScan Survey of Sustainability Experts for 2008 ahead of corporations like BP and General Electric. The GlobeScan Survey is a global poll of sustainability experts that names companies for their commitment for sustainability. The most recent survey notes that “Interface has cleary maintained its long-standing reputation for sustainability”.
 Under the leadership of the Founder and Chairman, Ray Anderson, the Company has embarked on Mission Zero, a drive to achieve a zero environmental footprint to become the first sustainable company by 2020. “It is gratifying to be recognized for our efforts on a global scale”, said Dan Hendrix, CEO of Interface, Inc. “Mission Zero is about more than just the Interface journey. It’s about demonstrating and sharing a new business model that aligns people, products, profit and the plant.”

Interface has made tremendous progress and notable achievements from 1996 baseline include 71% reduction in net greenhouse gas emissions; 44% reduction in energy consumption per unit of production and 72% reduction in water intake per unit of production. The Company’s manufacturing unit operates on 100% green electricity of which 89% is renewable. Recycled bio-based materials make up for the 24% of the raw materials used. These initiatives have produced impressive results netting the Company US$ 405 million in cumulative, avoided waste costs.

“While the company does not have a household name or a major consumer presence, it does have the attention of the global business community which it seeks to influence with its business model”, said Eric Whan, Director for GlobeScan.

 Interface has a significant presence in India through InterfaceFLOR, the modular flooring division of Interface Inc, a worldwide leader in the production of environmentally-responsible modular floor coverings and other textiles. InterfaceFLOR makes and sells the industry’s largest and most diverse range of carpet tiles. InterfaceFLOR modular flooring combines a high degree of functionality with a genuine sense of style.  

InterfaceFLOR India is headquartered in Bangalore and has offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad and offers the full range of modular products and services to customers in India.

Multilateralism and the Role of the International Monetary Fund in the Global Financial Crisis

Speech by Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Managing Director, International Monetary Fund
At the School of Advanced International Studies, Washington DC,
April 23, 2009 

Good afternoon, it’s a pleasure to be here. I would like to use this opportunity to talk to you about multilateralism, the need for global cooperation in macroeconomic and financial sector policies. We all know that decisions taken by countries in isolation may end up harming the global economy. This is the classic problem of coordination, and the problems become most glaring during time of economic distress.

One of the key lessons of the Great Depression was that a lack of cooperation and a retreat to isolationism can make things worse, dramatically worse. The unprecedented collapse in global activity in the 1930s also had dire social and political consequences, and contributed to the outbreak of a disastrous war that left millions dead and a whole continent in ruins. When world leaders met in Bretton Woods in 1944, they vowed never to repeat the errors of the past. They embraced multilateralism and a cooperative approach to economic and financial policies.

The IMF was born in Bretton Woods, forged in the furnace of this multilateral idealism, and endowed with a mandate to oversee the global financial system and to act as a lender of last resort to members with balance of payments needs. It stands right at the heart of macroeconomic and financial sector policy coordination.

Over sixty years later, although the contours of the world financial system would be unrecognizable to the Bretton Woods delegates, the IMF remains as central as ever. But it took the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression for this to be made manifest.

As the process of globalization and international financial integration accelerated over the past decade or so, it might seem obvious that the multilateral institutions usefulness would be growing alongside.

But the reality was different. Eighteen months ago, the institution was facing a progressive loss in its relevance and its legitimacy. Perhaps a victim of its own success, a global boom and the specter of economic crises fading further into memory left the institution somewhat unmoored. People were openly questioning the usefulness and relevance—and indeed the very future—of the Fund. We went through much soul searching. We went through a painful downsizing.

What can I say? Eighteen months seems like a lifetime! In that time, we have been in the midst of an economic crisis that originated in the U.S. housing market, immediately infected the advanced economies, and then spread like wildfire to every corner of the world.

As the dust settles, we are learning a few core lessons. We are learning that links between the real economy and the financial sector are deep-rooted and complex, and that the world economy is interconnected in more ways than we had imagined. We are also learning that a multilateral solution is essential, and that the IMF has a central role to play. It is an international institution ideally placed to address financing and liquidity problems at a global level, and to conduct candid, independent, and evenhanded surveillance. I will address these issues in turn.

Effectiveness as a firefighter

This crisis has shown that while firefighters might seem useless in good times, they have a major role to play when things turn sour—especially in a crisis as deep and broad as this one.

The IMF is helping emerging markets cope with the sudden stop in capital inflows. These countries had achieved impressive gains in growth and convergence. Unfortunately, for some countries, especially in Eastern Europe, these gains were associated with large current account deficits and heavy reliance on external financing. But other affected countries had sound policies and solid fundamentals, and were largely innocent bystanders of the crisis.

We have also extended our help to advanced countries. Consider Iceland, a rich western European country undone by leverage. The assets and liabilities of its banking system grew alarmingly large relative to its economy, outstripping the authorities’ ability to act as a lender of last resort. Investors starting retreating, and its banking sector collapsed. The IMF stepped in and provided necessary financial support.

And what about the low-income countries ? Already hit by the food and fuel price shocks, these countries are now suffering from a collapse in trade and remittances. Let us not forget the stakes—this crisis could have catastrophic implications. According to the World Bank, almost 50 million people could be pushed further into poverty this year—earning less than $2 a day—if financing needs are not met. As many as 3 million additional children may die between now and 2015 if the crisis persists. We could witness social unrest, political instability, and even war.

The world community cannot simply stand by and let this happen. The G-20 has asked the IMF to provide an additional $6 billion in concessional resources to low-income countries over the next 2 – 3 years, and we are committed to achieving this goal.

This crisis is by no means over, and I expect we will be called upon to help more countries before the year is out. Our latest forecasts have just been released, and they show further deterioration. We now project the global economy to shrink by 1.3 percent in 2009. I can see two forces at work. On the one hand, the major collapse in confidence and demand that began late last year continues to push the economy down. But on the other hand, the corrective policies that governments are implementing are lifting the economy up. Where does this leave us? Well, we expect a recovery in 2010—a modest recovery, yet still a recovery. So I see some light at the end of the tunnel, but this depends on the right policies stopping and reversing the descent. I will come back to this later on.

As this crisis has evolved, the IMF is trying to do its job. To do so though, we need to beef up our firefighting arsenal. To this end, the G-20 pledged to triple the IMF’s lending capacity to an unprecedented $750 billion, and—in addition—to double its capacity for concessional lending to low-income countries. We are committed to achieving this target.

At the same time, the world community has placed its trust in the IMF and we intend to live up to that trust. With the world engulfed in the worst crisis in generations, it cannot simply be “business as usual”. We are adapting—we have introduced a package of reforms that transforms the way we do business, drawing lessons from the present crisis and also from past experience. As a key first step, we have doubled all loan access limits—including for low-income countries—to give confidence to countries that we can meet their needs.

It is also better to prevent fires than put them out. Indeed, the absence of an insurance facility has been a major gap in the global financial architecture. Many countries opted instead to self-insure by building large buffers of foreign reserves. Thus, as a second step, we have introduced a flexible credit line that grants rapid upfront financing in large amounts—with no ex post conditions—for countries with a proven track record of good performance. Mexico, Poland, and Colombia have already sought to access this new facility, and I expect more countries to follow. And third, more generally, we are committed to providing larger amounts and more upfront financing across a wide range of our facilities.

I want to add that conditionality remains important. We know that adjustment does not come without pain. Putting out a fire is a messy business, but it’s still better than letting the house burn down. That said, conditionality must become more focused and streamlined—this should encourage countries to approach the IMF early on, before things get really bad.

I want to point out here that the IMF remains committed to protecting the poorest and most vulnerable. Many recent programs call for sizable increases in social spending in the midst of serious and needed efforts to cut deficits. For example, social spending is set to rise by 1½ percent of GDP in Latvia, ¾ percent of GDP in Ukraine, and ½ percent of GDP in Pakistan. In Hungary, low-income pensioners were specifically protected from benefit reductions. In low-income countries too, many programs have explicit targets for health and education spending. These safeguards are critical.

One final point on firefighting: The G-20 also supported the allocation to members of $250 billion in “Special Drawing Rights”—the IMF-issued reserve asset that borrowing nations can draw upon if needed. This expansion of global liquidity would be a significant symbol of the commitment of the international community to multilateralism.

Effectiveness as a policy advisor

Let me now turn to another of the major functions a multilateral institution must have—its role as a policy advisor. As the crisis evolved, the IMF was among the first to pinpoint the policy responses that have now become part of conventional wisdom. I would like to highlight two key areas where the IMF got it right—the case for fiscal stimulus, and the need to restructure the banking system.

Let me begin with fiscal stimulus. As you all know by now, we have been recommending, as early as January 2008, a discretionary loosening for countries that can afford it. At the beginning, this was a novelty coming from an institution associated with belt-tightening. But we made this recommendation because the decline in demand was exceptionally large, was expected to be long-lasting, and because we recognized the clear limits of monetary policy in this environment. We also argued early on that collective action was essential, and that countries had to move together.

We recommended 2 percent of GDP and I am pleased to note that countries have delivered in 2009. I have been particularly impressed by the unprecedented degree of international coordination, contrary to what is often said. Countries are still delivering stimulus for 2010, less than in 2009, but still sizeable. The jury is still out on whether this will be enough, or whether more may be needed, since we are not out of the woods just yet.

We also noted very early on that a speedy recovery depended on cleansing banks’ balance sheets of toxic assets. This remains true today. The primary objective must be to get the stalled machinery of the financial sector moving again. Without this, efforts to boost demand will be fruitless. We can say this with confidence because we have experience with banking crises—122 banking crises, to be precise. There are different ways to do it depending on country circumstances, but it must be done. Policymakers must resist the temptation to sweep the problem under the carpet. And here, the message is mixed—while moving in the right direction, the response has tended to be slow and piecemeal. The new U.S. plan is a major step forward, but its success hinges on the willingness of banks to sell their toxic assets.

Let’s not forget what is at stake. The just-published Global Financial Stability Report shows that systemic risks are still very high. Without policy action to address balance sheet weakness, the recovery will be delayed, and adverse feedback loops could get worse. We should not forget this international dimension, which is why we need coordination among the affected economies. I would caution especially against the temptation of financial protectionism—the repatriation of capital by advanced country banks. There can be no purely domestic solutions in today’s world.

Legitimacy as a provider of early warnings

I’ve talked a lot about a multilateral institution’s evolving role during the crisis, but what about predicting the crisis itself? Where was the IMF? We have been accused of sleeping at the wheel. I take some of this criticism. It is fair to say that the multilateral institutions charged with surveillance, including the IMF, made some mistakes.

We certainly gave warnings, but these warnings were not loud or clear enough. We were simply too optimistic about the economic situation in advanced economies, lulled by the experience of strong growth and low and stable inflation. And we failed to pay enough attention to factors like excess leverage, systemic risk, credit booms, and asset prices. At the same time, when we did give warnings, these warnings were often ignored by policymakers. We were not vocal enough. People don’t like listening to warnings from Cassandras when times are good.

Moreover, effective surveillance depends on successful outreach as much as sound analysis. Collective action also proved elusive—while we forged ahead with multilateral surveillance, fully recognizing the growing linkages across countries, this exercise had only a modest impact.

I think we proved our worth once the crisis broke. Exactly a year ago, our Spring World Economic Outlook forecasts were widely derided for being too pessimistic. And yet, such pessimism was warranted. We were right. The same thing happened with our estimate of credit losses from the Global Financial Stability Report. In each case, we were ahead of the curve.

Looking ahead, we intend to do better in the area of early warnings. These new early warnings must be strong, candid, credible, and even-handed. They must not shy away from “naming and shaming” where appropriate. Early warnings that are ignored by policymakers have limited value.

With this in mind, our strategy will be to focus our surveillance on systemic risks from all quarters, better integrating the macroeconomic and financial sector work, and better monitoring policy spillovers and cross-country linkages. We are developing, in collaboration with the newly strengthened Financial Stability Board, an early warning exercise covering both advanced and emerging market countries, and here we will canvass a wide range of outside views and follow up where warranted.

Let me give one example of how this approach might be useful. From the start of the crisis, we have been monitoring risks in emerging Europe. We highlighted some policy challenges—fixed exchange rate countries will need a comprehensive adjustment strategy, home and host country regulators will need to coordinate on bank recapitalization, and policymakers will need to prepare for possible private debt restructuring. The idea is to impress upon policymakers the need for a timely, coordinated, and comprehensive solution.

Legitimacy as a global institution

Before I conclude this afternoon, let me address the topic of legitimacy, the legitimacy of multilateral institutions as global institutions. In a sense, this is the tie that binds everything together. If we do not have legitimacy, countries will not approach us to meet their financing needs until it is too late. If we do not have legitimacy, the mere existence of the flexible credit line will not prevent self-insurance. If we do not have legitimacy, nobody will listen to our policy advice, or take our early warnings seriously.

This is why we need to reform our governance structure to give more influence to emerging markets and low-income countries. In short, our voice must be respected in every corner of the world. We must be seen as evenhanded and independent, not beholden to the interests of any country or group of countries. This has not always been the case.

The reform process began in 2008, with the decision to increase the quotas of 54 member countries—granting the emerging markets a greater stake in the institution—as well as to increase the voice of low-income countries, including by creating an additional alternate executive director position for the two African chairs at our Executive Board. These reforms are in the process of being ratified by members and I hope they will come into force very soon. We need to forge forward with quota reform, speeding up the rebalancing process begun over a year ago. In this context, I welcome the G-20 support for completing the next phase by early 2011.

Of course, legitimacy is a broader consideration than quota and voice reform. We need to do a better job in reaching out to civil society, to the people on the ground—people, I must say, who have often criticized us in the past. We also need to foster a diverse staff, for that too goes hand-in-hand with legitimacy.


Let me briefly conclude. I have argued that a robust multilateralism is essential to the resolution of the current crisis, and indeed, to the prevention of future crises. In an increasingly globalized world, the web of connections between countries and activities will continue to grow. We have seen the walls between the financial sector and the global economy breaking down. We have seen that a financial sector problem in one country can spill swiftly across borders, gain momentum, and return to the home country with even greater ferocity.

We need stronger global coordination in macroeconomic and financial sector policymaking. If countries come together to tackle their joint problems in a cooperative manner, everybody wins. As this crisis unfolded, we saw the benefits of cooperation with the global fiscal stimulus, and with coordinated liquidity provision by central banks. We also saw the costs of non-cooperation with temptations to protect domestic banking systems at the expense of neighbors, ring-fence assets, and favor domestic lending.

I hope that cooperation and multilateralism will win out. I am pleased to note that countries are increasing inclined to adopt a coordinated response to policy challenges. I note especially the achievements of the G-20. I also note some of the recent agreements brokered by the IMF with banks to keep supporting subsidiaries in eastern Europe.

I have argued that the IMF is perfectly poised to play a critical role in the international financial architecture. It is adapting to circumstances, shedding what did not work, improving what did. Time magazine has dubbed it “IMF 2.0”. I like that. But of course, we can always do better. We have made some progress, but we still have a journey ahead of us. Let’s look forward to “IMF 3.0”! Remember, at the end of the day, it’s not about the IMF, it’s about the global economy and the welfare of the nearly seven billion people who share this planet.

Thank you.


Statement by the Managing Director to the IMFC
on the IMF’s Crisis Response and Reform Agenda

April 17, 2009
Crisis response to date. As the world economy has become engulfed in the worst crisis in
many generations, the Fund has mobilized on many fronts to support its member countries.
We have responded with prompt, large and flexible financial support where needed. Our
monitoring, forecasts, and policy advice, informed by a global perspective and by experience
from previous crises, have been in high demand. We have deployed a broad financial safety
net, through an overhaul of our general lending framework that makes it better suited to
members’ needs, and by garnering pledges for a massive increase in Fund resources. And we
have contributed to the ongoing collective effort to draw lessons from the crisis for policy,
regulation, and the global architecture.
Next Priorities. The strong support for the Fund expressed by a wide cross-section of the
membership suggests that we are on the right track. But this is no time to rest. To contribute
as best we can to containing the costs of this crisis, and durably restoring global prosperity
and financial stability, our policy agenda has further to go. Let me set out what I regard as
priorities for the coming months.
Global financial safety net. We will work swiftly to turn loan pledges from members into
effective lending arrangements, and will seek to expand the New Arrangements to Borrow
(NAB) and make it more flexible as a stronger complement to the Fund's quota resources. As
the safety net would not be truly global without adequate coverage of our low-income
members, we must also press forward expeditiously to reach agreement on solutions that
would allow at least a doubling of our medium-term concessional lending capacity. The Fund
needs to do its part in contributing the necessary financing, in a manner consistent with the
new income model agreed by members last year in conjunction with the quota and voice
reform and restructuring of the Fund. However, achieving the desired target would be greatly
facilitated by bilateral contributions from members, both for loan and subsidy resources,
which I urge you to consider. I also intend to move promptly in bringing to a vote a $250
billion SDR allocation to further strengthen the global safety net, and ask for your support.
Lending framework. We need to continue our efforts to adapt our lending framework to the
diverse needs of our members. In the general resources account, the framework has
considerable flexibility and scope for tailoring embedded in it. In particular, the new Flexible
Credit Line, which provides high access financing for eligible countries, without ex post
conditionality, is an exceptionally flexible instrument. Importantly, the new policies on
conditionality, access (including high access precautionary arrangements), and charges, mean
that all of our members with potential financing needs stand to benefit. We must make sure it
is applied consistently with this spirit as we answer our members’ requests for support.
Regarding low-income countries, the available toolkit needs to be more responsive to
increasingly diverse country needs and heightened exposure to global volatility. We will
pursue this objective by redesigning the Fund’s lending instruments to address short-term,
emergency, and precautionary financing needs more effectively, making program design and
the concessional financing framework more flexible, and increasing the flexibility of Fund’s
policy on external debt limits.
Surveillance. In this unsettled environment, surveillance has a key role to play in helping
countries steer through the crisis, while safeguarding sustainability and preventing future
recurrence. Building on recent successful experience, we will enhance our cross country
work and continue to strengthen risk assessments and our analysis of real-financial linkages
and spillovers. Further refinement of our joint early warning exercise with the Financial
Stability Board and a revamped Bank-Fund Financial Sector Assessment Program—more
flexible and targeted and better integrated with the Fund's surveillance—will be instrumental
in this endeavor. But top quality analysis is not enough for surveillance to have traction,
which is what ultimately matters. Enhancing the traction of surveillance is a challenge we all
need to take on. More engaged policy dialogue with members and clearly communicated
messages will be key. So will candor, independence, and evenhandedness.
Architecture. Efforts to build a more robust global architecture need to proceed apace, and
the Fund will continue to contribute to this agenda, in line with its global financial stability
mandate. A key element here will be to solidify perceptions of the Fund as an effective and
legitimate institution beyond the present crisis. In this connection, I cannot overstate how
important a step is the ratification of the April 2008 package of quota, voice, and income
reforms, and I urge you to work toward that objective. We should build on these reforms and
bring representation at the Fund further in line with global economic realities. I would favor
launching the next review of quota and voice in the next few months and completing it by
January 2011—sooner if we can—and hope that this more ambitious timeline draws wide
support. The Fund would serve the global economy better if broader governance reforms
were set in train. The reports on various aspects of IMF reform produced by the eminent
persons’ committee chaired by Trevor Manuel, the G20 Working Group, and the Independent
Evaluation Office will be important inputs.
In sum. The overarching priority remains to respond effectively to this crisis with all
available policy tools, at home and globally, and we need to make sure the policies of the
Fund are well-suited to the task. The remaining agenda is an ambitious and difficult one, as
members come to it from very different perspectives. But I know that we ultimately share the
objective of making the Fund as strong a source of stability in the global financial system as
possible. And recent developments provide comfort that there is considerable political
support for our reform agenda. Against this background, I look forward to a productive
exchange of views to provide further impetus and guidance to this important work.


LINC ENERGY LIMITED (ASX : LNC) (OTXQX : LNCGY) officially opened its Chinchilla Demonstration Facility on Wednesday 22nd April 2009 with strong support from international project partners and Government representatives.
Vietnamese Government Ministers and Vice Ministers, representatives from Japan’s Marubeni Corporation and business supporters from South Africa and the United States gathered in Chinchilla to mark the official opening of the world’s first Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) to Gas to Liquids (GTL) facility.
“Linc Energy’s facility is truly unique; the only one of its kind, complete with UCG gas field, a Fischer-Tropsch (FT) GTL plant and an on-site, world-class laboratory,” said Linc Energy’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Peter Bond.
Attached to this announcement is a News Release from the Federal Minister for Resources and Energy, the Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP, regarding the official opening of Linc Energy’s Chinchilla Demonstration Facility.
The official opening of Linc Energy’s Chinchilla Demonstration Facility attended by 200 supporters followed the day after the signing of the agreements to commence Stage 1 of the Red River Delta UCG project in Vietnam; a joint project with Linc Energy and its Vietnamese and Japanese partners, VINACOMIN, Song Hong Energy and Marubeni Corporation.

The 2009 Development Marketplace (DM) grant competition is seeking innovative solutions addressing Climate Adaptation in three sub-themes. The call for proposals will be open until May 18, 2009. Winning projects will receive a US$ 200,000 grant for implementation over two years.  
Who can apply? Non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, foundations, academia and development agencies based in the country of implementation may apply without additional partners. All other groups must partner with at least one organization; the type of partnership varies across types of applicants. Individuals cannot apply. Click here for more details on partnerships and eligibility criteria or check the guidelinesavailable in English, Spanish and French (

How to apply? All proposals must be submitted online. Proposals must be submitted through the DM online application form available on the DM website ( Only proposals received before May 18, 2009 6 p.m. EST (22:00 GMT) will be considered.

How will the proposals be selected? Proposals will be selected through a rigorous selection process. Click here for the selection process and assessment criteria (

The application deadline is May 18, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. EST (22:00 GMT).

Riversdale Mining [ASX: RIV] - Coal resources increase 90% to 4.0 billion tonnes in Mozambique

Riversdale Mining Limited (ASX: RIV) has today announced an updated Resource and Reserve statement for the Benga Coal Project (EL 881L) in the District of Moatize, Province of Tete, Mozambique. The Benga Project is held in a joint venture between Riversdale Mining Limited (65%) and Tata Steel Limited (35%). Based on the data collected from recent drilling activities, a Coal Resource of 4.0 billion tonnes has been estimated. 

Of this amount, 1,033.9 million tonnes (Mt) is the combined total for Measured and Indicated Resources and 893.4 Mt of these are at a depth of less than 500m. This Coal Resource represents an increase of 90% over the previous Resource announced in September 2008.

The Company also announced that an initial Coal Reserve of 273.3 million tonnes has been estimated. Of this, 181.3 Mt are Proved Coal Reserves and 92.0 Mt are Probable Coal Reserves. These Reserves have been estimated in accordance with a review that anticipates an initial Run of Mine (ROM) development of 5.3 Mtpa, increasing subsequently to 10 Mtpa and ultimately 20 Mtpa as transport infrastructure becomes available.

The increased Resource and initial Reserve estimates represent a material development for the project and will impact positively on the overall scope of the mine and its potential to develop into a project of global significance.

EU steel market: demand almost halved in first half 2009

Economic and Steel Market Outlook 2009-2010 - The April ’09 Report from EUROFER’s Economic Committee

While data of the first quarter of 2009 confirm that the economic downturn in the EU is gathering pace, it is clear that particularly EU industry is hit hard by falling exports and tight credit supply. Domestic and international export demand for manufactured goods has continued to fall sharply. Companies are struggling to survive under extremely difficult business conditions, cutting investment and reducing operational stocks to the bare minimum as long as the slump in confidence and tight credit availability continues. Consequently, the outlook for the steel using industries in 2009-2010 is very grim: all sectors will be seeing strongly reduced output levels, particularly in the 1st half of this year.

The impact on the EU steel market is dramatic. Strongly reduced activity levels in the steel using industries translate into much lower volumes of steel needed for direct production processes. While the drop in RC is of utmost concern, its impact is multiplied on the steel producers in the EU by the inventory cycle and translates into a drop in activity of 40% or more. Lower end-user activity implies the need for lower inventories throughout the steel value chain. Moreover, current stocks at end-users, steel service centres and stockholders are assessed as being still much too high compared to the weak activity levels. This means that a further significant inventory reduction is needed before the supply-demand situation can come closer to a balance. Consequently, orders intakes at EU steel mills are expected to be at unprecedented low levels for the time being. Meanwhile, import pressure in the EU has remained relatively high. On balance, the latest forecasts show apparent steel consumption falling by 40-45% year-on-year in the 1st half of this year, and by almost 30% in the whole of 2009.

The outlook for 2010 remains depressed: real steel consumption will remain at a low level, while apparent consumption could see some growth, owing to the fading influence of the stock cycle.

Motorola Delivers Enhanced Business Capabilities to Indian Enterprises with New Series of Mobile Computers

Designed with feedback from customers in Asia, Motorola extends enterprise mobility leadership in region with new converged handheld mobile computers

India, Thursday, 23rd April 2009 – Motorola’s Enterprise Mobility business (NYSE:MOT) today unveiled the FR series which initially includes the rugged and compact FR68 and FR6000 mobile computers. The series, providing operability in a range of local languages, is designed to increase productivity wherever and whenever work needs to be done in small, medium or large enterprises across verticals such as retail, healthcare, logistics, transportation, utilities, manufacturing or public safety. With them, companies can achieve higher levels of resource optimization and operational efficiency and give mobile workforces the ability to work on business essential enterprise resource platforms as well as access and process business critical data on the go.  

Jayant Rastogi, country head – sales & area director – Indian Subcontinent, Motorola- Enterprise Mobility Business said, “The design and development of the FR series of mobile computers is a distinctive demonstration of Motorola’s ongoing innovation to best serve the needs of our customers in the region. Be it field sales workers, professionals in the healthcare system or manufacturing environment or the delivery staff of a courier company, the new FR converged enterprise-class devices give them the capability to be more productive, efficient and remain connected within and outside the organization so that they can make informed decisions and deliver enhanced customer experience which is essential to gain competitive edge.”  

 Both the FR68 Enterprise Digital Assistant (EDA) and the FR6000 rugged handheld computers, available only in the Asia-Pacific markets, are full-function 3.5G HSDPA/WAN network mobile computers that offer simultaneous voice and high-speed data connectivity, and GPS navigation. The devices also offer expanded levels of enterprise-class features in a highly compact form factor and ergonomics best suited to the needs of Asian users. Additional functionalities include high resolution 3.2 mega pixel auto-focus color camera, and optical character recognition (OCR) functionality in the FR68, and 1D laser scanner, plus additional connectivity through wireless LAN (WLAN), Bluetooth® and IrDA. Powerful computing capabilities enabled through the Marvell XScale PXA312 624MHz processor and Microsoft® Windows® Mobile 6.1 operating system in the devices ensure ease of integration with existing enterprise infrastructure, enhanced security features, a flexible development platform and improved mobile messaging – all in a single device. 

 Designed to withstand the rigors of everyday use, the new FR series mobile computers are true business enablers. Ruggedized to withstand three foot drops to concrete, the new series is also sealed to protect from elements such as sand, dust and water.  

 The combination of real-time local and wide-area wireless communications coupled with advanced data capture capabilities and an industry-standard operating system enables ease of implementation of business-essential applications including enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM). 

 To help customers maintain peak performance, Motorola Enterprise Mobility offers Service from the Start with Comprehensive Coverage for the FR68 and FR6000. With Service from the Start, from the first day of the hardware purchase, customers can be assured that no matter what is damaged — from broken displays and keypads to any internal and external components — the repair is covered while the plan is active. This enhanced level of coverage significantly reduces unforeseen repair expenses, while providing investment protection and service peace of mind.

Both devices are available in Asian local languages, with both keypad and the Microsoft WM 6.1 operating system available in simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Japanese, Korean as well as English. 

Both mobile computers are now available in India through local Motorola PartnerSelect members.