Sun, Oct 29, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs


■ Electronics
Hon Hai investing in China

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer, said it plans to invest US$163.5 million more on electronics factories in China. Hon Hai's board has approved seven investments in plants that make mobile phones, their parts and computer components, according to statements to the Taiwan Stock Exchange the Taipei-based company filed on Friday. The projects will bring the company's total approved investment in China to US$1.11 billion, Hon Hai said. Hon Hai's investments in China so far account for 8.5 percent of assets and 15 percent of shareholders' equity, the company said in a statement. Hon Hai's clients include Apple Computer Inc.

■ Internet

Google tackles porn in Brazil

Google Inc will help Brazilian authorities identify individuals accused of using the company's Orkut social networking service to spread child pornography and hate speech on the Internet, Google spokeswoman Debbie Frost said on Friday. Google will help detect content within Orkut linked to child pornography and hate speech against blacks, Jews and homosexuals, which is illegal in Brazil. Frost said material on Orkut could be reviewed or preserved, pending a court order. But Google has appealed a federal judge's order to turn over Orkut users' numeric Internet addresses, which can help identify them.

■ Trade

WTO to meet about Vietnam

The WTO said on Friday that its 149 members would meet on Nov. 7 to consider giving the green light for Vietnam's accession. The accession, and a debate on a report by negotiators outlining the deal, was included in the official agenda for the WTO's executive General Council meeting on Nov. 7 sent out by Director General Pascal Lamy. Trade sources have said that step is largely expected to be a formality, removing the last foreign hurdle in the way of its admission to the global free trading system within the next three months. The meeting in Geneva will take place just five days before Vietnam hosts a summit of the APEC Forum.

■ Currency

Thailand reins in baht

Bank of Thailand governor Tarisa Watanagase said the central bank had intervened to slow the baht's rise, as the Thai unit remained near a seven-year high yesterday. "The Bank of Thailand has intervened in the market for fear that the quick and sharp gain of the baht might hurt our economy, after massive capital inflows from the United States following the Fed decision to maintain interest rates," she told reporters on Friday. Tarisa declined to say how much the Thai central bank had spent to soften the currency. The baht closed on Friday at 36.87-89 to the US dollar, the highest level since January 2000. Yesterday it was trading at 36.715 in New York.

■ Retail

Daiei to discuss alliance

Struggling Japanese retail giant Daiei Inc will hold its first talks about a possible alliance with rival Aeon Co early next month, Kyodo News agency said late on Friday, citing Marubeni Corp's president, Nobuo Katsumata, a top Daiei shareholder. Daiei and its biggest investor, trading house Marubeni, said earlier this month they had given Aeon exclusive negotiating rights through March 31. The talks will be aimed at allowing Aeon to buy about a 15 percent stake in Daiei from Marubeni, and giving it the right to buy roughly a 20 percent stake in Maruetsu Inc from Daiei.

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