Sun, May 18, 2008 - Page 11 News List

Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ BANKING

Eximbank selling stake

Vietnam’s state-owned Export-Import Commercial Joint-Stock Bank, known as Eximbank, will sell a 25 percent stake to four foreign investors, the central bank said yesterday. The Tuoi Tre newspaper placed the value of the shares at US$395 million. Eximbank will sell a 15 percent stake to Sumitomo Mitsui, the State Bank of Vietnam said in a statement on its Web site. VOF Investment Ltd of Virgin Islands will buy 5%, while Mirae Asset Exim Investment Ltd of South Korea will buy 4.5% and Mirae Asset Maps Opportunity Vietnam Equity Balanced Fund 1 will buy a 0.5% stake, the statement said.

■ INTERNET

Yahoo action questioned

A shareholder accused Yahoo Inc of trying to conceal large portions of a shareholder lawsuit alleging the Internet company’s board improperly thwarted Microsoft Corp’s US$47.5 billion takeover offer. In a letter sent on Friday to the judge overseeing the case in Delaware, shareholder attorney Joel Friedlander argued Yahoo was trying “to whitewash embarrassing documents” because the company thought the information would damage the board’s efforts to repel a challenge by activist investor Carl Icahn. The redacted documents include information about an employee severance plan that Yahoo adopted shortly after Microsoft made its initial bid on Jan. 31 and notes about a conversation between Yang and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, he wrote.

■ AUTOMOBILES

Toyota to resume work

Toyota Motor Corp will resume limited production at its plant in Chengdu, China, for the first time in a week after the country’s biggest earthquake in 58 years. The company will cancel one of two daily shifts from tomorrow through Saturday at its plant in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, spokeswoman Hiromi Hirooka said by telephone last night. Toyota lost production of 380 vehicles as of Friday. The plant can build 13,000 vehicles a year. “Our primary concern is the health condition of workers at our factory and suppliers,” Hirooka said.

■ BEVERAGES

California wine pioneer dies

Robert Mondavi, who pioneered the rise of California wines, died on Friday at his home in the Napa Valley region that made him famous. Mondavi had become increasingly frail in recent years and died peacefully at his home, a family spokesman said. The son of Italian immigrants, Mondavi was the first wine-=maker to successfully challenge the dominance of European wines and establish Napa Valley as one of the world’s premier wine regions. He founded his own vineyard Robert Mondavi Winery in 1966, at the age of 52, after being kicked out of his family-owned winery. Using new techniques and employing adventurous young winemakers, Mondavi’s cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay won at the famous Paris tasting of 1976.

■ VIETNAM

Bank to raise interest rates

The central bank said yesterday that it would raise its benchmark interest rate, lifting the maximum return that commercial banks can offer depositors to 18 percent a year. The State Bank of Vietnam will increase the base rate to 12 percent from 8.75 percent tomorrow, according to a statement released in Hanoi yesterday. Under central bank regulations, banks cannot offer savers rates exceeding 150 percent of the base rate.

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