Mon, Aug 29, 2011 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

OIL

Iran, China sign deal

Iran and China agreed to jointly invest US$12 billion over 10 years in developing Iran’s Azadegan oil field, state-run Press TV reported on its Web site. Azadegan, in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, has 42 billion barrels in reserves and will add 600,000 barrels a day to the nation’s daily crude oil output, Press TV said, citing Petroleum Engineering & Development Co managing director Naji Sadouni. The first phase of the field’s development will take 52 months, during which 185 wells will be drilled, it said.

FINANCE

EU finances to improve

Chief Executive Officer of the European Stability Facility (EFSF) Klaus Regling believes the eurozone will overcome its current debt crisis by 2014. “One can justifiably expect the crisis to be over within two to three years,” he told Spiegel in the edition out yesterday. “In all eurozone countries the fundamentals are improving.” All eurozone countries have started putting their finances in order and already some of those worst affected by the crisis, such as Ireland, are back on their feet, he said. The EFSF was set up last year to help shore up debt-ridden countries. Its role is shortly to be expanded in line with measures agreed to by eurozone leaders last month. Regling believes the eurozone’s financial situation is better than that of the US. “The US deficit, for example, is three times as high as that of the eurozone,” he said.

INTERNET

Facebook to end Deals

Facebook is to end a Deals program launched in April which offered online bargains like Groupon, LivingSocial and other companies. “After testing Deals for four months, we’ve decided to end our Deals product in the coming weeks,” the California-based social network said in a statement. “We think there is a lot of power in a social approach to driving people into local businesses ... We’ve learned a lot from our test and we’ll continue to evaluate how to best serve local businesses.” Facebook began testing Deals in five US cities in a bid to expand its revenue stream beyond advertising and carve out a niche in the growing online bargain space. Chicago-based Groupon, which offers subscribers discounts on a broad range of consumer goods and services, has enjoyed a spectacular rise since its founding in 2008 and rejected a reported US$5 billion takeover offer from Google last year.

AUTOMAKERS

Car boss makes donation

South Korea’s top automaker Hyundai Motor said yesterday that its chairman would give US$462 million to charity, partly fulfilling a pledge made in 2006 when he was being investigated for corruption. Chung Mong-koo will donate shares worth 500 billion won (US$462 million) in Hyundai Glovis — a Hyundai Motor subsidiary — to help children from poor families, the company said in a statement. The money will be donated to a charity group founded by Hyundai, it said, adding the sum was the largest personal donation ever made in South Korea. The move came amid calls for Chung, 73, to honor his promise to donate 1 trillion won. Chung was later convicted of embezzling 90 billion won in company funds through fraudulent accounting, with the intention of establishing a slush fund to bribe government officials and politicians in return for business favors.

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