Wed, Jan 19, 2011 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



Still no profits at HK Disney

Hong Kong’s Disneyland theme park failed to turn a profit again last year, but says its loss narrowed thanks to higher visitor numbers. The park reported yesterday that it lost HK$718 million (US$92.3 million) last year. It lost HK$1.315 billion in 2009. The number of visitors to the park rose 13 percent last year to 5.2 million and each guest spent an average 7 percent more than the year before. Managing Director Andrew Kam said three new attractions slated to open over the next three years would help the park turn a profit, but did not give a date for when he expected that to happen.


Rio Tinto mulls expansion

Rio Tinto Group, the world’s third-largest mining company, said fourth-quarter iron ore output rose to a record as prices gained for the steelmaking ingredient. Production increased to 50.1 million metric tonnes in the three months that ended Dec. 31, from 47.2 million tons a year earlier, London-based Rio said yesterday in a statement. Chief executive Tom Albanese is looking into the possibility of expanding iron ore operations by 50 percent by 2015 at a cost of about US$14.8 billion to meet rising demand from steel mills. “Running our operations at full capacity was a priority for Rio Tinto in 2010, in an environment of strong prices for most of our commodities,” Albanese said in the statement.


Dreamliner tests resume

Boeing on Monday resumed flight tests of its 787 Dreamliner in the hope of winning over US regulators after a string of technical mishaps and delays. “Boeing has resumed certification flight testing of the 787 Dreamliner today,” the company said in a statement. It said four airplanes were back to “flight status” and two others “are expected to be flying again within the next week or so.” Last month Boeing said it had installed updated power system software and conducted rigorous reviews to confirm flight readiness after it was forced to halt tests due to an electrical fire that forced an emergency landing.


Parmalat payout sought

A Milan prosecutor has called for the confiscation of 120 million euros (US$160 million) from four international banks accused in the 2003 collapse of the Parmalat dairy empire. Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup and Bank of America are accused of not taking measures that would have prevented crimes leading to Parmalat’s 14 billion euro failure. A verdict is expected next spring. Prosecutor Eugenio Fusco is seeking 70 million euros from Citigroup, 30 million euross from Bank of America, 5.9 million euros from Morgan Stanley and 14 million euros from Deutsche Banks. Fusco also asked the court on Monday to fine the banks 900,000 euros each. The trial has the potential to recoup millions in damages for defrauded investors.


Comcast purchase imminent

US regulators were on the verge of approving cable giant Comcast’s purchase of entertainment titan NBC Universal and were due to announce the deal as early as yesterday, a US newspaper reported. The Wall Street Journal’s Web site, citing unnamed sources, said on Monday that Federal Communications Commission (FCC) officials spent the weekend making last-minute revisions to an order clearing the deal.

It added that the US Justice Department is ready to approve the deal “with conditions” shortly after the FCC gives it the green light.

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