Sun, Jun 13, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Plastics

Nan Ya teams up with PPG

Nan Ya Plastics Corp (南亞塑膠) plans to team up with PPG Industries Inc of the US to build a NT$3 billion (US$89 million) glass fiber kiln in China, the Chinese-language Commercial Times reported, citing Nan Ya executive vice president Wu Chia-chau (吳嘉昭). The plant will have annual capacity of 33,000 tonnes, making it the biggest in the world, supplying the material used in circuit boards of electronic products, the paper said. PPG Industries will provide the technology and Nan Ya will be in charge of production and operations, the paper said. Nan Ya, based in Taipei, is Taiwan's biggest plastics maker. Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries, the world's No. 2 maker of car paint, makes protective coatings, flat glass, fiber glass products and specialty chemicals.

■ Regulation

Halliburton investigated

Halliburton Co said Friday its involvement in a Nigerian gas plant project had become the subject of a formal inquiry by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. French prosecutors are already combing through the details of Halliburton's involvement in the plant, the US oil services group said.The investigation is focused on whether a Halliburton joint venture broke US anti-bribery laws in order to win construction contracts for the gas plant. US Vice President Richard Cheney was Halliburton's chief executive officer between 1995 and 2000. The company is already being investigated by the US government amid allegations it overcharged the military for fuel delivered to Iraq.

■ Economic Policy

Zimbabwe's inflation drops

Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate slowed slightly to 448.8 percent last month from 505 percent the previous month, officials figures showed yesterday. Despite the drop in the rate cited by the state news agency ZIANA, inflation in Zimbabwe remains among the highest in the world. Zimbabwe's inflation peaked in November last year to hit 619.5 percent having leapt some 94 percentage points from the previous month making it the single largest jump since the economy began its slide some three years ago. The government in November last year predicted that the southern African country's inflation rate would hit 700 percent in the first three months of this year before climbing down.

■ Financial Aid

Jordan wants Marshall Plan

Jordan's King Abdullah II wants a program for the Middle East modeled after the Marshall Plan, which is credited with saving postwar Europe from economic and political disarray. In an address Friday to business leaders, the king said he had approached US leaders about such a project before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. "The plan is needed now more than ever, to give people hope and offer them an alternative to hate and division," he told 500 people at a hotel in downtown Chicago. "I'm talking about a Marshall Plan, as it were, for the recovery of the Middle East." Abdullah didn't say if the US alone should take part in putting together such a plan, nor did he say how much it might cost. The four-year Marshall Plan cost US$13 billion (about US$100 billion in today's dollars) and helped rebuild Germany as well as 14 other war-damaged European nations after World War II.

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