Sun, Jun 12, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

AGENCIES

■ Petroleum
NYMEX opens Dubai trading

The New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) on Friday announced it is setting up the Middle East's first petroleum futures exchange in Dubai. The first futures contracts to trade at the exchange, to be called the Dubai Mercantile Exchange, likely will be high-sulfur, or "sour" crude, and fuel oil, NYMEX said in a press release on Friday. The exchange is scheduled to open early next year. Specific financial terms weren't disclosed for the joint venture with the government of Dubai, but sources close to the deal have said the project would cost an estimated US$10 million in the next few years. Dubai will cover the bulk of the cash investment, they said, while NYMEX will mostly contribute the technology. NYMEX officials have also indicated an interest in offering metals futures, such as a gold contract, at the Dubai exchange. The deal fits into NYMEX's plan to expand its franchise globally and attract business from Asia.

■ Notebooks

Compal sees growth in Q3

Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶) forecast third- quarter shipments of its notebook computers will increase as much as 10 percent from 2.13 million units in the first quarter, a Chinese-language newspaper reported, citing company chairman Rock Hsu (許勝雄). Compal is targeting shipments of 9.5 million notebooks this year with a gross margin of 5 percent each, the newspaper reported. Hsu also forecast the industry's shipments worldwide will increase 22 percent from last year to 58 million units, the newspaper reported. Compal's gross margin, or percentage of sales left after deducting production costs, dropped to 5.8 percent in the first quarter from 7.1 percent a year earlier.

■ Plasma TVs

Top three to double sales

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co, Hitachi Ltd and Pioneer Corp plan to more than double their global plasma television sales this fiscal year to meet rising demand, the Nihon Keizai newspaper reported. The top three plasma TV makers expect to sell 3.07 million plasma television sets worldwide, 2.4 times the amount last business year, the newspaper said without citing anyone. Matsushita, which plans to boost plasma TV sales by 2.8 times to about 2 million units this year, saw sales increase by 2.8 times in April and last month from a year earlier as prices cuts attracted customers, the paper said. The Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association estimates global demand for plasma TVs to rise 59 percent to 3.7 million units this year, the newspaper said.

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