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Scandal-plagued Siemens to slash 17,200 jobs

Reeling from a wide-ranging corruption scandal, Conglomerate Siemens AG will slash up to 4% of its worldwide work force (about 17,200 jobs), newspapers reported.

The Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported the Munich-based company was set to cut the jobs - mostly white-collar and administrative - without citing any sources. The Wall Street Journal also reported a similar figure, citing a person who was familiar with the matter.

Siemens did not comment on either report, only to say that it did not comment on market rumors.

The German paper said that of the cuts to the company's global work force of approximately 435,000 staffers, some 6,400 could come in Germany, where it employs around 136,000 people.

In March, Siemens issued a profit warning saying that weaker-than-expected performance in its major business projects this quarter was going to pull earnings down by approximately $1.41 billion.

The warning was a surprise for the conglomerate, whose diverse products include trams, turbines and telecommunications equipment, given that it had said in January that sales were expected to double the pace of the global economy.

It had a second-quarter profit of $648.82 million in the January-March period, down 67% compared with a year earlier.

In February, Siemens said it would reorganize its corporate telecom unit as it prepares to get out of the business, eliminating 3,800 jobs while another 3,000 will be transferred to partners or other units - its biggest cuts in years. (Xinhua)