Sun, Jan 02, 2011 - Page 10 News List

Business Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Energy

CPC pledges price freeze

State-run CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) said yesterday there will be no price adjustments for liquefied natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas this month and next month, a time when demand for fuel is high because of lower temperatures and the Lunar New Year holiday. The company said in a statement that the decision was made in accordance with the government’s policy to help stabilize domestic consumer prices. Prices of gasoline and diesel products will not change during the Lunar New Year period even if global crude oil prices increase, CPC said. However, the company will lower gasoline and diesel prices during the new year holidays if global crude prices decline, it said.

Food & Beverages

Starbucks dearer in China

Starbucks said on Friday it planned to increase the price of some drinks in China because of soaring commodity prices. The price of Frappuccinos was hiked by 2 yuan (US$0.30) yesterday, Starbucks spokeswoman Caren Li (勵靜) said. The previous price for a small Frappuccino was around 30 yuan. Starbucks, which has 400 stores in China, will however reduce the cost of other products such as vanilla lattes, as well as extra syrup, cream and coffee shots, Li said, without providing further details.

Electronics

DoCoMo set to take on iPad

Japan’s top carrier, NTT DoCoMo, is to launch a tablet computer running Google software to challenge Apple’s hot-selling iPad, a report said yesterday. DoCoMo will marry the new Google-backed Android operating system with a device made by South Korea’s LG Electronics to launch the product in Japan by the end of March, the Nikkei business daily said, without naming sources. Users will be able to get on the Internet via DoCoMo’s cellular connections, it said, adding pricing and other details were yet to be decided.

Banking

ANZ to revamp expansion

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ) is revamping its expansion and raising the profile of its North Asian operations after its failed bid for Korea Exchange Bank, the Australian newspaper reported citing chief executive officer Mike Smith. The strategy may include expansion in South Korea without acquisitions as well as Japan and China, the newspaper said.

Real Estate

UK house prices rise 0.4%

Average house prices in the UK rose 0.4 percent last year as falling prices in the second half of the year offset gains in the first six months, a major mortgage lender said on Friday. The Nationwide Building Society, the country’s third-largest mortgage lender, said average house prices were up 0.4 percent last month compared to November. For the last three months of the year — considered a better indicator of the trend — average prices were down 1 percent compared to the previous quarter.

Automobiles

Auto giants issue recalls

Ford and Chrysler are recalling tens of thousands of vehicles due to safety problems, the US government said on Friday. Chrysler Group was recalling about 143,000 Dodge Ram trucks and Dodge Journey sport utility vehicles, a report on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Web site said. Ford Motor has recalled almost 15,000 pickup trucks, Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX SUVs to address an electrical problem that could cause a fire, the government said.

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