Sun, Dec 25, 2011 - Page 11 News List

Business Quick Take

Agencies

INVESTMENT

SinoPac SITC eyes China

SinoPac Securities Investment Trust Co (SinoPac SITC, 永豐投信), an investment consulting arm of Taiwan-based SinoPac Financial Holdings Co (永豐金控), will team up with Xiamen International Trust Co (廈門國際信託) to set up a fund management company in China. SinoPac Financial said on Friday that the joint company, which will be capitalized at 200 million yuan (US$31.6 million), will open in Xiamen, Fujian Province, with SinoPac SITC to hold a 49 percent stake in the new entity and Xiamen International Trust to own the remaining 51 percent. The joint venture proposal is pending approval from Chinese authorities.

CURRENCY

China, Pakistan do swap

China has announced a currency swap with Pakistan in the latest step to gradually expand use of the tightly controlled Chinese currency abroad. The Chinese central bank said yesterday it swapped 10 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion) for 140 billion Pakistani rupees (US$1.7 billion). It said the exchange would promote investment and trade, but gave no details on how the money would be used. China has carried out currency swaps with Argentina and Kazakhstan and agreed to lend yuan to other countries in case of emergencies.

ENERGY

RWE to sell Egypt assets

German energy giant RWE has put its assets in Egypt up for sale in a bid to raise about US$1 billion, three people familiar with the matter told Dow Jones Newswires on Friday. The assets are shares in two undeveloped oil and gas fields belonging to its subsidiary Dea, it said. An RWE spokeswoman declined to comment, but highlighted the Dea unit was on the group’s list of potential sell-offs. The energy supplier is in need of fresh cash because earnings are being hit by a decision by Germany to phase out nuclear power and a generally difficult market environment.

TRAVEL

Thomas Cook to sell property

Thomas Cook Group PLC, Europe’s second-largest tour operator, agreed to sell office buildings in the Netherlands as part of a plan to reduce borrowings. Thomas Cook will sell the property in Hoofddorp to FN2 BV, a unit of the Fotex Group, for 18 million euros (US$23 million), the London-based company said in an e-mailed statement on Friday. The property is rented to third-party tenants. The sale is part of a plan to dispose of as much as £200 million (US$311.8 million) of “non-core” assets within 18 months, the company said.

ENERGY

Brazil fines Chevron

Brazil’s environment inspector fined Chevron Corp 10 million reais (US$5.4 million) on Friday for breaching the terms of the US oil giant’s environmental license when tackling an offshore spill at a well the firm drilled last month. The fine is on top of a 50 million reais charge the inspector, IBAMA, slapped on Chevron for causing the spill at the Frade field when rock gave way because of a pressure surge. Chevron estimates 2,400 barrels of oil spilled into the sea.

ITALY

Bond sales announced

The Italian Treasury announced a minimum of 40 billion euros (US$52 billion) in bond and note sales in the first quarter of next year, according to an e-mailed statement from Rome on Friday. The Treasury will sell 9 billion euros of two-year notes, 10 billion euros of five-year bonds, 12 billion euros of 10-year bonds and 9 billion euros of three-year bonds.

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