Sun, Sep 24, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Automobiles

Nissan and Toyota end pact

Nissan Motor Co and Toyota Motor Corp will end their tie-up in sharing hybrid car-related technology as Nissan plans to release its own hybrid models, a report said yesterday. Nissan plans to release its independently produced low-emission and fuel-efficient models in 2010, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported, citing unnamed sources. Nissan and Toyota agreed in 2002 to work together on hybrid vehicle developments in a bid to cut costs and benefit from each others' know-how. Nissan's new compact car models will be equipped with a lithium-ion battery system and include a plug-in hybrid vehicle that can be recharged at home, the newspaper said.

■ Bonds

Central American sale set

The Central American Bank for Economic Integration, which provides development loans in Central American states, is selling its fourth bond in Taiwan, said Citigroup Inc, arranger of the sale. Terms for the NT$3.5 billion (US$106 million), five-year bonds with a coupon of 2.08 percent, were fixed on Sept. 15, Citigroup said in a statement yesterday. The issue date is Oct. 3. The bank sold NT$6.5 billion of bonds in 1997, NT$3.5 billion in 1998 and NT$3.5 billion in 2004, Citigroup said. The bank's members are Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Non-regional members include Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Taiwan.

■ Aviation

China wants better safety

China's surging air travel market is giving authorities a safety headache as passenger numbers grow to a predicted 270 million by 2010, a senior aviation official said in the China Daily yesterday. Wang Changshun (王昌順), the deputy director of the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC), said Beijing aimed for an accident rate of below 0.3 per million flight hours, a comparable rate to that in developed countries. He said China had to overcome problems such as the lack of competent human resources, poor airport facilities, congested airspace and an incomplete legal framework.

■ Aviation

EEOC sues over age limit

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed an age discrimination lawsuit against Exxon Mobil Corp on Friday, saying it forces pilots for the world's largest oil company to quit flying at 60. The commission is seeking a permanent injunction against the company's mandatory retirement age for pilots. The EEOC said Exxon Mobil stripped Mike Moreschauser of his pilot duties after he turned 60 on Sept. 7, despite his excellent health and extensive experience. But Exxon Mobil spokesman Russ Roberts said the company's policy addressed the issue of safety and was modeled after US Federal Aviation Administration guidelines.

■ Retail

Wal-Mart to limit packaging

Wal-Mart announced an initiative to cut the use of packaging materials by 5 percent at the conclusion of the annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York. The company would begin evaluating the packaging efficiency of its 60,000 worldwide suppliers in 2008. "The initiative is projected to save 667,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere," Wal-Mart said in a statement. "This is equal to taking 213,000 trucks off the road annually, and saving 323,800 tonnes of coal and 66.7 million gallons of diesel fuel from being burned."

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