Mon, Apr 23, 2012 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

CHINA

IPO valuations fall

The average price of initial public offerings fell to about 20 times earnings early this month after the government acted to curb insider trading and speculation, the nation’s top regulator said. IPO valuations are now more in line with the secondary market after falling from a ratio of more than 30 in the first quarter and 47 last year, China Securities Regulatory Commission Chairman Guo Shuqing (郭樹清) said, according to statement on Friday on the watchdog’s Web site. The regulator is studying the possibility of excluding non-recurring items from net income to make its delisting policy more effective, according to the statement.

PETROLEUM

Russia seeks cooperation

Russian Vice Premier Igor Sechin is dropping hints he would welcome greater international cooperation to explore for oil in his country. He was referring to a new partnership between Russian oil and gas company Rosneft and its US rival ExxonMobil. The agreement with ExxonMobil is “quite special, but there will be others” Sechin told the Wall Street Journal during a visit to the US last week. In the interview published on Saturday, Sechin described the Exxon-Rosneft agreement as “a long-term collaboration, which would be extended for decades — 30, 40 or 50 years.”

JAPAN

Plant blast kills worker

A blast at a chemical plant in the west killed one worker and injured at least 15 others yesterday, police said. The accident occurred at a factory operated by comprehensive chemical manufacturer Mitsui Chemicals in Yamaguchi Prefecture, about 700km southwest of Tokyo, an official at the Yamaguchi prefectural police said. The deceased was a 22-year-old male employee, police said, with Jiji Press identifying him as Shota Sunakawa. Nine other company employees and workers for subcontract companies were severely or slightly injured, while at least four residents in the neighborhood were slightly injured, police said. The plant had been manufacturing materials to make adhesives, he said.

FINANCE

BofA settlement challenged

A recently proposed US$20 million settlement of shareholder claims by Bank of America Corp (BofA) over its 2009 acquisition of Merrill Lynch is being challenged by a separate group of shareholders as too small. A federal judge in New York has ordered the Bank of America directors who were sued over the deal to defend the settlement in court on May 4, along with the lead shareholders they settled with. The US$20 billion takeover deal was forged on the same September 2008 weekend that Lehman Brothers collapsed. The deal came into question later after Bank of America disclosed that Merrill would post US$27.6 billion in losses that year.

TIRES

Michelin recalling bus tires

Michelin is recalling more than 77,000 bus tires because sidewall defects can cause them to lose air rapidly, increasing the risk of a crash. The Michelin XZU2, XZU3 and XM505 tires involved in the recall were produced from 2005 to fall 2011 at Michelin’s plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Michelin North America Inc says its lease fleet customers complained that some of the tires had lost air rapidly during use as retreads over the past two years, prompting a company investigation. It did not cite any instances of crashes.

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