Sun, Dec 24, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Transport

Virgin America clears hurdle

A new airline called Virgin America said on Friday it had passed a major hurdle in its bid to gain approval for domestic US service, and hopes to start passenger flights by early next year. The wannabe low-cost airline has been licensed to use the "Virgin" brand by Britain's Virgin Group, but is independent from the companies headed by Richard Branson. The US company said that it had successfully passed the Federal Aviation Administration's airline certification review process, and is awaiting final approval from the Department of Transportation before taking to the skies.

■ Banking

Bank predicts low inflation

Taiwan's central bank expects inflation this year to fall below the statistics agency's forecast of 0.68 percent, Governor Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南) said on Friday in a report which is to be delivered to the Legislative Yuan tomorrow. "For the whole of this year, the annual rise in CPI will probably be below the statistics agency's forecast of 0.68 percent," Perng said in the report. In the first 11 months, the CPI rose an average of 0.59 percent from a year earlier, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said. Next year's average CPI rise will accelerate to 1.52 percent, though it is still lower than the DGBAS target of 2 percent, Perng said.

■ Industry

Goodyear, union reach deal

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co and the union representing about 12,600 US workers reached a tentative deal on a new contract that would bring an end to an 11-week strike over health care benefits. The tiremaker and the United Steelworkers union reached the deal on Friday after both sides resumed talks early this week. The strike began on Oct. 5. The deal allows Goodyear to stick with plans to close an unprofitable plant in Tyler, Texas that makes wholesale private label tires, but provides for a one-year transition period during which workers will have the opportunity to take advantage of retirement buyouts. Workers will vote at ratification meetings in their communities on Thursday.

■ finance

Brokerage heads set to quit

The two most senior executives of Nikko Cordial Corp, one of Japan's top brokerages, are expected to resign as early as tomorrow over alleged accounting irregularities, news reports said yesterday. Nikko Cordial, which has an investment banking alliance with Citigroup, plans to hold an emergency board meeting tomorrow when Nikko Cordial chairman Masashi Kaneko and chief executive Junichi Arimura are expected to resign, Japan's largest daily Yomiuri Shimbun reported. Business daily Nihon Keizai and Kyodo News agency had similar reports. On Monday, Japan's financial watchdog recommended a ?500 million (US$4.24 million) fine against Nikko Cordial for allegedly padding profits.

Industry

CTSP set for growth

The Central Taiwan Science Park (CTSP, 中部科學園區) is expected to have the largest congregation of 12-inch silicon wafer fabrication factories in the country, with 14 companies deciding to build their foundries there, the director of the CTSP preparatory office said yesterday. Yang Wen-ko (楊文科) said the park is currently home to 85 factories, 28 of which are precision machinery plants. There are also 25 plants manufacturing opto-electronic products in the Taichung County-based science facility.

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