Sun, Sep 03, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs


■ Fast foodMcD's caves in to hedgehogs

US fast food giant McDonald's announced on Friday that it had gone hedgehog-friendly, following a long running campaign waged by British lovers of the prickly mammals. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) claimed that countless creatures had died by getting their heads stuck inside when trying to eat left-over ice cream. McDonald's said it had redesigned cups and lids for its McFlurry ice cream so that they were no longer a danger to the animals. McDonald's UK said it had invested "significant research and testing" into designing their new cup, which features a smaller opening meaning customers have to remove the lid to eat the dessert.

■ Internet

Sohu in tie-up with NBA Inc (搜狐), China's third-biggest Internet portal, and NuCom Media Group will help the National Basketball Association add content including live video broadcasts of games to its Chinese Web site, the companies said. The agreement is between the NBA, Sohu and NuSports, a NuCom subsidiary, said the joint statement released by the companies and the association at a press briefing in Beijing today. NBA started the China Web site for the 2002/03 season, the year the nation's basketball star Yao Ming (姚明) started playing in the NBA with the Houston Rockets. The association says it has 30 million viewers a week in China for its games.

■ China

GDP mostly top firms' money

The total operating revenue of China's top 500 companies last year accounted for more than three-quarters of the Asian giant's gross domestic product (GDP), the state news agency Xinhua reported yesterday. The total of 14.14 trillion yuan (US$1.8 trillion) accounted for 77.6 percent of China's GDP, according to a report issued by the China Enterprise Confederation and the China Enterprise Directors Association, quoted by Xinhua. In 2001, operating revenue of the top 500 accounted for 55.7 percent of GDP. In 2004, the figure rose to 73.5 percent.

■ Precious stones

Myanmar sells jade, gems

Military-run Myanmar has sold over 540 lots of jade and gems during a two-day auction, state media said yesterday, in a bid to earn much-needed foreign currency for the cash-strapped junta. Some 1,250 merchants, including 500 foreigners mainly from neighboring China and Thailand, attended the auction last week, the official newspaper New Light of Myanmar said. While Myanmar sold over 70 percent of jade and precious stones offered at its biggest-ever gem auction in July, the daily said the government sold just 40 percent of jade and gems at the latest sale.

■ Trade

Mercosur wants clout in IMF

The South American trade bloc Mercosur on Friday demanded greater voting power in the IMF. "We think that as a bloc of South American countries, our participation should be bigger," Brazil's Finance Minister Guido Mantega said after meeting with Mercosur finance ministers in Rio de Janeiro. "Our representation is not proportional to our political or economic importance." The IMF is expected to finalize a decision to grant China, Turkey, Mexico and South Korea a greater voting share in its operations at a meeting this month in Singapore. Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Venezuela are full members of Mercosur.

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