Sun, Jul 04, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

AGENCIES

■ Petroleum
Coffee coming to CPC

Europe's largest coffee shop chain Cup&Cino will open coffee shops at the petrol stations of China Petroleum Corp (CPC, 中油), a newspaper said yesterday. "Under the contract, Cup&Cino will open coffee outlets at six CPC petrol stations, charging NT$40 (US$1) per cup of coffee," the Apple Daily reported. "The six Cup&Cino coffee shops are all in Taipei City. Soon Cup&Cino coffee shops will appear at CPC petrol stations in suburban Taipei. Besides selling coffee, they will also sell six kinds of foods such as sandwiches or bagels," Apple Daily quoted CPC official Hsu Song-poh as saying. CPC, Taiwan's petro-chemical monopoly, operates 1,700 petrol stations across the country. Cup&Cino Kaffeesysteme GmbH & Co KG is based in Hovelhof, Germany. It is the largest coffee shop chain in Europe and has already expanded outside Europe.

■ Electronics

Matsushita plans cost cuts

Japanese consumer electronics giant Matsushita aims to cut procurement costs by 10.5 percent in a bid to boost competitiveness against Asian rivals, a report said yesterday. Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd, better known through its Panasonic and National brands, would reduce costs to ¥72 trillion (US$34 billion) from its earlier estimate of ¥15 trillion in the fiscal year ending March next year, the business daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun said. Overhauling parts and materials procurement costs is part of Matsushita's effort to improve its cost-competitiveness against Asian high-tech makers, the daily said. The company plans to do so by jointly buying parts and materials with Matsushita Electric Works Ltd, a building materials and lighting equipment maker, which became a group subsidiary in April, it said.

■ Shipping

US rejects foreign ships

The US Coast Guard said Friday that 20 foreign-flagged vessels calling on US ports did not meet international security rules that took effect on Thursday. A total of 228 foreign vessels arrived in the US on Thursday. The Coast Guard did not disclose how many have called on US ports since then. Foreign ships must have a signed certificate from their flag country that says they comply with the new standards aimed at foiling terrorists. The Coast Guard boarded and inspected 123 foreign ships on Thursday to check identification and make sure they met new requirements, such as having working alarm systems. The 20 that failed the security test were denied entry, detained or ordered to leave port.

■ Airlines

SIA ready to buy 7E7s

Singapore Airlines (SIA) is in the "final stages" of negotiations with aerospace giant Boeing for the purchase of 7E7 "Dreamliner" aircraft, a senior Boeing executive told The Business Times in remarks published yesterday. Mike Bair, senior vice-president of Boeing's 7E7 programme, said that SIA has expressed interest in purchasing the 7E7-3 and 7E7-8 models. "I expect them to make a decision by August," Bair was quoted as saying. "We have laid down the black and white for SIA, and it is now up to them to make a decision." The 7E7 is the first new airliner that Boeing has introduced since the 777 models in the early 1990s. The US-based Boeing said the company is in talks with more than 30 airlines which could amount to more than 600 orders.

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