Japan exports fall 3.3%
Japanese exports fell for the fifth straight month last month as the country contends with a strong yen and the ongoing impact of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Exports dropped 3.3 percent from a year earlier to ￥5.78 trillion (US$75.6 billion), the finance ministry said yesterday. However, with imports last month rising 9.9 percent to ￥5.71 trillion, Japan recorded a trade surplus of ￥72.5 billion, the ministry said. Exports are a key driver of the world’s No. 3 economy, and the country is hoping that overseas demand will help it bounce back from the disaster. Data earlier this week showed that Japan’s economy is still mired in recession, shrinking for the third straight quarter in the April-June period.
Colombia mine to expand
Mining giants BHP Billiton, Anglo American and Xstrata said yesterday they planned a US$1.3 billion expansion of their joint venture Cerrejon coal mine in Colombia. Each will contribute one-third of the total cost, BHP said in a statement, adding that it would boost annual saleable thermal coal production by 8 million tonnes to about 40 million tonnes. BHP Billiton Energy Coal president Jimmy Wilson said the firm was committed to continuing to produce as much thermal coal as possible. Construction will begin this year, with completion expected in 2013. Ramp-up to expanded capacity of 40 million tonnes per year is expected by the end of 2015.
Temasek sells Shin shares
A Temasek Holdings affiliate sold a stake in Shin Corp PCL, the Thai telecommunications company it bought five years ago in a deal that sparked protests and culminated in a coup that overthrew Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Cedar Holdings Ltd, partly owned by Singapore’s state-investment company, sold 7.9 percent of Shin to a group of investors for about 9.2 billion baht (US$308 million), Shin said yesterday. The shares were sold for 35.50 baht to 37.25 baht each, a discount of as much as 11 percent from Wednesday’s closing price, according to a term sheet for the sale obtained by Bloomberg.
Coke to lift PRC investment
Coca-Cola Co said it would invest US$4 billion in China in the next three years starting next year. In the first half of this year, the company’s sales in China exceeded 1 billion unit cases, the US beverage maker said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Coca-Cola is also “actively talking” to authorities in Shanghai, China, about the possibility of listing its shares on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, with nothing imminent, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday, citing chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent.
Amazon attracts most hits
One out of five Internet users visited online retail giant Amazon in June, tracking firm comScore said on Wednesday. Amazon sites had 282.2 million visitors during the month, or 20.4 percent of the worldwide Internet population, comScore said in a report on the top global retail and auction sites. Online auction titan eBay received 223.5 million visitors in June, or 16.2 percent of the total number of Internet users. China’s Alibaba (阿里巴巴) was next with 156.7 million visitors, or 11.3 percent of total Internet users, followed by Apple with 134.2 million visitors, or 9.7 percent of total Internet users. Japan’s Rakuten rounded out the top five with 57.7 million visitors in June, or 4.2 percent of total Internet users.