Mon, Nov 19, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Stronger yuan a must

Canadian officials said China must allow the yuan to appreciate faster after a "frank" round of talks at a meeting of policy makers from the Group of 20 nations.

"China and a number of other Asian countries need to do more," Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said.

Central bank Governor David Dodge said "there was a genuine concern on the part of a lot of countries on the turbulence in the currency markets."

Canadian and European policy makers say their currencies are shouldering too much of the dollar's decline, which has accelerated in the past three months. Dodge also said yesterday that market volatility after the jump in credit costs in August is likely to be more "prolonged" than forecast at last month's meeting of the G7 nations.

TRUenergy unit shut down

TRUenergy Pty, an Australian utility owned by Hong Kong's CLP Holdings Ltd, said it shut down another generating unit at its Yallourn power plant in Victoria State after production was cut because of a flood at a coal mine.

Only one out of four units at the site is still operating, using coal from an alternate part of the mine, Kate Shea, a spokeswoman at Melbourne-based TRUenergy, said yesterday.

The company plans to restore half the output at the power station, 150km east of Melbourne, by mid-week, she said.

TRUenergy last week cut generation at the 1,480-megawatt Yallourn plant after heavy rain and leaks from the river caused subsidence that damaged conveyor equipment and halted coal output.

The company on Nov. 14 said it was running two units at minimum capacity at the plant, which supplies 22 percent of the electricity for Australia's second-most-populous state.

Aruze shares may rise

Aruze Corp, a Japanese pachinko-machine maker, may rise as the value of its stake in casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd has ex- ceeded its ¥324.8 billion (US$2.9 billion) market capitalization, Barron's reported.

Aruze bought more than 20 percent of Wynn last year. At Wynn's current price, Aruze's stake in the casino company is worth ¥4,890 for each share of the Japanese company, Barron's said in today's edition. When the value of Aruze's main business is added, the shares are worth ¥5,740, or about 45 percent more than Aruze's stock price, the report said.

Investors are valuing Aruze's game-machine business "for less than nothing" and they may be wrong, Barron's said.

Malaysia Air may buy planes

State-owned Malaysia Airlines, which has been in the red since the Asian Financial Crisis a decade ago, will unveil a plan in January to buy new planes, a report said yesterday.

"We want to provide five-star services at low-cost carrier cost," managing director Idris Jala was quoted as saying by the New Sunday Times newspaper.

He said the carrier would purchase new aircraft to beef up its existing fleet of 89 planes but did not give specifics.

"We are in the midst of finalizing our requirement for both narrow and wide-body aircraft. We have received bids from Boeing and Airbus," he said.

Malaysia Airlines had placed an order for the delivery of six Airbus A380 superjumbos but delivery has ben delayed because of production problems. The carrier launched a 4 billion ringgit (US$1.1 billion) turnaround plan in March last year after it posted a 1.3 billion ringgit and 136 million ringgit annual losses respectively for 2005 and last year.

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