Google founders paid $1 salaries

Google paid co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin their customary $1 (R10.50) salaries last year, while executive chairman Eric Schmidt’s compensation more than doubled to $19.3 million. Most of his raise stemmed from stock grants valued at $11.4m. Regulatory documents filed on Friday revealed the grants were issued to make up for an administrative error in the handling of another large award given to Schmidt in 2011. Page, the chief executive, and Brin, another top executive, have insisted on capping their salaries at $1 annually since Google went public nearly a decade ago. The men each own stock worth about $26bn. The calculation of Schmidt’s compensation counts salary, bonuses, perks and stock and options awarded during the year. – Sapa-AP


Police seek 13 foreign bosses

Brazilain prosecutors are seeking the arrest of 13 foreign executives from three international companies allegedly involved in a cartel to raise prices for the construction and upkeep of subway and train systems in São Paulo. The press office of the São Paulo State Prosecutor’s Office said on Friday that none of the executives were in Brazil and, if necessary, the federal police would ask international police agency Interpol for help. Eleven work for Siemens of Germany, one for Bombardier of Canada and another for South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem. Siemens would only say in a statement that it wanted a “full investigation of irregularities committed”. Neither Bombardier nor Hyundai Rotem had immediate comment. – Sapa-AP


Fitch outlook cut to negative

Ghana’s debt outlook was lowered on Friday to negative from stable by Fitch Ratings, which said the government’s policy credibility was at risk from above-target budget deficits for the past two years. The Finance Ministry said Ghana’s fiscal deficit expanded to 10.8 percent of gross domestic product last year, from an estimate in November last year of 10.2 percent, as tax revenue declined and spending on wages increased. The gap had ballooned to 12.1 percent of GDP before elections in 2012, exceeding the government’s 9 percent target. “Policy credibility has been significantly weakened following two years of double-digit and larger-than-expected budget deficits,” Fitch said in a note. – Bloomberg