Disney raises park prices
Walt Disney World is raising ticket prices for the third time in two years, company officials said. An adult one-day, one-park pass will rise 6 percent to US$71 beginning today. Discount packages also will be affected, but the per-day cost could be less than US$23 for adults who buy a 10-day package. The change is due to an annual planning cycle of travel wholesalers, tour organizers and commercial publications, Disney officials told the Orlando Sentinel. "We strongly believe that Walt Disney World represents a great entertainment value. Our guests agree," spokesman Rick Sylvain told the newspaper. Disney last raised prices last August when a one-day, one-park ticket went from US$63 to US$67.
Samsung back on line
South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co said yesterday that all six chip production lines at its plant near Seoul resumed normal operations after disruptions owing to a power failure a day earlier. Losses stemming from the disruption would not exceed 40 billion won (US$43.3 million), below its initial estimate of 50 billion won, the company said in a statement. Production at the six chip lines at the plant was disrupted after a power system exploded on Friday.
Nike opens Beijing store
Nike opened a flagship store in Beijing on Friday, increasing its presence in the key market as China's economy grows and the 2008 Olympics approach. The Beijing store is the largest of about 3,000 Nike retail destinations in China. Nike previously sold products through other retail stores there, including some owned by partner companies or at Nike outlet stores. This is the company's first Nike-branded and owned retail store in China. The Beaverton-based company says China is poised to be a US$1 billion business and Nike's second-largest market in the world.
M&A deals double in value
The value of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in Asia's banking industry nearly doubled last year, with India and China clinching the greatest number of deals, a report said yesterday. Excluding Japan, total banking M&A volume soared 96.1 percent to US$30 billion last year from US$15.3 billion the previous year, market researcher The Asian Banker said. The jump was driven by "intensified domestic market consolidation and increasingly capital-rich banking institutions snapping up stakes in the region," senior research analyst Benny Zhang said. Cross-border deals within the Asia-Pacific region more than quadrupled to US$4.2 billion from US$900 million the previous year.
■ ONLINE AUCTIONS
Court favors winning bidder
The Supreme Court in Sydney yesterday ruled that a notification a bid had won was legally binding. The case pitted a vendor who refused to hand over a vintage plane to a winning bidder after receiving a better offer elsewhere. The decision was welcomed by eBay Australia spokesman Daniel Feiler, who said it was the first time to his knowledge that a vendor had been taken to court for refusing to relinquish an item that had been sold. The World War II aircraft had been put up for sale with a reserve price of A$150,000 (US$126,000). With 20 seconds left before the auction closed, a bid of A$150,000 arrived and the bidder was notified he had won. The seller then declined to settle because he had received an outside offer of A$220,000.