Tue, Nov 16, 2010 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

TELECOMS

Vodafone told to pay deposit

Vodafone Group PLC, the world’s biggest mobile phone company by sales, was ordered by India’s Supreme Court to pay a deposit while it challenges a tax bill for the country’s largest cross--border deal. A Supreme Court panel headed by Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia told Vodafone yesterday it has to set aside 25 billion rupees (US$554 million) with the court within three weeks and submit bank guarantees for 85 billion rupees in eight weeks. India is seeking 112 billion rupees on Vodafone’s purchase of Hutchison Whampoa Ltd’s (和記黃埔) local mobile phone unit three years ago.

REAL ESTATE

China limits foreign buyers

China has limited foreigners to buying one property for residence purposes to curb rising real estate prices in the country, according to a statement issued by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange yesterday. Overseas companies and institutions will only be able to buy properties in cities in which they are registered, the statement said. Foreigners will have to provide proof of at least a year’s employment in China to purchase property, the statement said.

AUTOMOBILES

SAIC, GM agree to deal

China’s SAIC Motor Corp Ltd (上海汽車) has agreed to take a stake in General Motors Co (GM) if Chinese regulators approve a deal to deepen an existing alliance between the two automakers, four people familiar with the matter said. The potential investment from SAIC is part of a surge in investor interest in GM that is expected to push the pricing of its shares to US$29 or above in the the US automaker’s initial public offering, one of the sources said. Another source said SAIC, GM’s partner in China, would take a stake of around 1 percent in the automaker, majority owned by the US Treasury after a bailout last year.

IRELAND

Talks with Europe confirmed

The government is in talks with European officials about current “market conditions” as Germany pushes it to accept a bailout and help reverse a bond sell-off among the euro-region’s deficit-laden nations. “Ongoing contacts continue at official level with international colleagues in light of current market conditions,” a Finance Ministry spokesman said in an e-mail late yesterday. “Ireland has made no application for external support” and the government is “fully funded till well into 2011.” The confirmation of talks comes as euro-region finance ministers prepare to meet in Brussels today. Allaying investor concerns about Irish finances would help advance German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s plan to require investors to help pay for future rescues, a German government official said.

TELECOMS

Indian minister resigns

Indian telecommunications minister Andimuthu Raja has resigned amid allegations that his handling of the 2008 sale of licenses for cellphone airwaves resulted in massive losses for the government. Raja, who belongs to a southern Indian political party that is a key ally of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Congress party, came under heavy pressure to resign after a government inquiry reportedly alleged that the sale of second generation (2G) wireless spectrum had resulted in a 1.76 trillion rupees loss to the treasury. Critics charge that Raja’s allocation of 2G spectrum was improperly based on 2001 prices and unfairly awarded licenses on a first come, first served basis, rather than by auction.

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