Mon, Feb 20, 2012 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



Record revenue posted

The oil-rich Gulf state is set to post to post its largest ever revenue and budget surplus this current fiscal year, on the back of high oil prices and production, a local economic report said yesterday. Revenue for the fiscal year that ends on March 31, is expected to top US$100 billion for the first time, ending between US$101 billion and US$104 billion, the central bank said. Oil income is forecast to contribute about 95 percent of revenue, the bank said, adding that the average price for the nation’s oil would be about US$109 a barrel, way above the budget price of US$60 a barrel. Having ended the past 12 fiscal years in surplus and amassed over US$200 billion, the nation would also post a record windfall topping US$41 billion at the end of the current fiscal year, the bank said. The previous record revenue was US$79 billion recorded in last fiscal year, while the largest budget surplus was US$33.5 billion in the 2007 to 2008 fiscal year.


UK develops cheapest tablet

A British technology company claims to have developed the world’s least expensive computer tablet for wireless Internet access. At a cost of US$35 apiece, Datawind Ltd hopes to supply a market of billions of customers, many in underdeveloped countries. The student tablet released in October last year costs US$35, but Datawind released an updated version of the Aakash computer tablet this month for the commercial market that costs US$50. It comes with more features. Aakash is the Hindi word for “heaven.” The Aakash tablets reached their first users last fall under an information technology program sponsored by the Indian government. The company provided 100,000 of the tablets, which were designed at its Montreal facility, to Indian students. Customers have been contacting Datawind with “in the range of about 30,000 orders every day,” Datawind chief executive officer Suneet Singh Tuli said during a telephone interview.


Saudi’s cut crude production

Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest crude producer, reduced oil output and exports in December, according to the Joint Organization Data Initiative. The country pumped 9.81 million barrels a day of crude compared with 10.047 million in November last year, statistics posted yesterday on the initiative’s Web site showed. The kingdom’s exports were cut from 7.8 million barrels a day to 7.36 million barrels, according to the figures. The initiative is supervised by the Riyadh-based International Energy Forum and compiles data supplied by member governments.


UK eyes marine energy

Britain must not lose its lead in the development of marine energy like it did with wind power, and should focus on reducing costs and setting ambitious deployment targets beyond 2020, a report by a parliamentary committee said yesterday. Seven out of the eight large-scale prototype wave and tidal devices installed worldwide are in the UK, but are not expected to make a large contribution to its energy mix before 2020. “Britannia really could rule the waves when it comes to marine renewable energy,” Energy and Climate Change Committee Chairman Tim Yeo said. Marine renewables are seen as providing 20 percent of current UK electricity demand and the government is targeting 200 megawatts to 300 megawatts of marine capacity by 2020, 1 gigawatt to 2 gigawatts less than its forecasts in 2010.

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