Sun, Oct 07, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ BANKING

State banks to sell TDC stock

Three state-run banks led by the Bank of Taiwan (台灣銀行) are to dispose of all shares they own in Taiwan Development Corp (TDC, 台灣土地開發) later this month, a statement released on Friday night said. The Bank of Taiwan, Land Bank of Taiwan (土地銀行) and Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合作金庫銀行) will clear an aggregate TDC shareholding of 29.49 percent in a block sale after the closure of the local stock market some time in the middle of this month, the statement said. The three state lenders bought the TDC shares before 2005 when the latter was known as Taiwan Development & Trust Corp (TDTC, 台開信託) and was involved in both land development and financial services. TDTC sold its investment trust unit in August 2005.

■ OIL

CNPC to invest in Chad

China's largest oil producer, China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC, 中國石油天然氣), has agreed to invest in a joint-venture oil refinery near the capital of Chad, state media reported yesterday. A subsidiary of CNPC, the CNPC Service and Engineering Ltd, has signed an agreement with the central African country's government to jointly invest in a refinery company to the north of the capital, N'Djamena, Xinhua news agency reported, quoting a company announcement. The CNPC subsidiary will take charge of the construction and will use Chinese manufacturing standards, design and equipment in the refinery, the report said. CNPC did not give financial details of the investment nor did it indicate when the project will start.

■ AVIATION

Japan Airlines expects loss

Japan Airlines, Asia's largest carrier, is preparing to book a loss of about ?20 billion (US$171 million) in possible fines by US authorities, a report said yesterday. The company is looking to officially announce the decision next month, the Asahi Shimbun said. Japan Airlines is among the targets of an investigation by US and European authorities over a massive price-fixing conspiracy or "cartel" among international carriers in connection with surcharges for rising oil prices, the paper said.

■ OIL

PDVSA to expand work force

State oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA will expand its work force by more than one-third next year, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Friday. The company, known as PDVSA, has about 74,900 employees and will increase that figure to 101,590 next year and more than 113,800 in 2009, Chavez said in a speech to students. Buoyed by record oil prices, the state company has rapidly boosted its payroll as Chavez's government assumes majority control of at least four major oil projects previously run by major multinationals.

■ AUTOMAKERS

Mitsubishi to lift production

Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors plans to expand production capacity in Japan by 10 percent to meet strong demand for exports, a report said yesterday. It will also improve output efficiency by moving some production overseas, the Nikkei Business Daily said, without citing sources. Currently, Mitsubishi's three assembly plants can produce 840,000 vehicles annually. But they are running flat-out to meet a fiscal 2007 goal of 866,000 units, which would represent a 15 percent increase from a year earlier, the Nikkei said.

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