Mon, Jan 31, 2011 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

ENERGY

Cyclone closes terminal

Australia’s largest coal export terminal, Dalrymple Bay, shut down operations yesterday because of an approaching cyclone, which is expected to hit the region early today. The closure is the latest disruption to coal exports from Queensland and follows devastating summer floods across eastern Australia. The weather bureau said Cyclone Anthony was gaining strength to a Category 2 cyclone as it approached the northern Queensland coast and would lead to high tides, rough seas and destructive wind gusts. The cyclone is to make landfall between the northern Queensland towns of Townsville and Mackay.

ARGENTINA

Strike enters fourth day

A strike involving thousands of workers that has paralyzed operations at the nation’s main soy and grain export harbor dragged into its fourth day on Saturday with no resolution in sight. Guilds representing truck drivers, stevedores and other port workers launched the open-ended demonstrations demanding a minimum monthly wage at a major port near the industrial hub of Rosario on Wednesday. The strike affected the nine port terminals of San Lorenzo, located just outside Rosario. Argentina is the third-largest exporter of soybeans, second for corn and fourth for wheat. Total Argentine exports of grains, derivatives, oils and -biodiesel last year were worth more than US$20 billion, more than one third of the country’s total exports.

CHINA

Food security addressed

Beijing will ensure sufficient supplies of natural gas for fertilizer producers during spring crop planting this year as part of efforts to guarantee food security, the National Development and Reform Commission said. China National Petroleum Corp (中國石油天然氣), China Petrochemical Corp (中國石化) and China National Offshore Oil Corp (中國海洋石油) won’t be allowed to offer natural gas to other companies before completing planned supplies to fertilizer producers, the commission said in statement yesterday. Making sure there is enough fertilizer was “a precondition for the grain harvest” and “essential for stabilizing prices of agricultural products and managing inflation expectation,” the commission said.

HEDGE FUNDS

Group appeals Porsche case

A group of hedge funds led by Elliott Associates and Black Diamond Offshore Ltd appealed the dismissal of their US$2 billion lawsuit against German automaker Porsche SE. The hedge funds filed notices of their appeal in Manhattan federal court late on Friday. The hedge funds had claimed the -Stuttgart-based carmaker deliberately deceived the market about its intentions to acquire Volkswagen (VW), publicly denying plans to take over the company while quietly buying nearly all the freely traded ordinary shares of VW. When Porsche revealed its holdings in October 2008, shares of VW soared, triggering losses at the hedge funds, which had bet on a decline in VW shares.

AVIATION

Airline merger suspended

Officials have suspended a merger between Chile’s LAN Airlines and Brazil’s TAM Airlines while they investigate whether it complies with antitrust laws, Brazilian news media reported on Saturday. The five-member Court for the Defense of Free Competition issued the decision on Friday in response to a request from the private National Consumer Corp, the daily Tercera newspaper reported.

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