Athens, Lisbon seek advice
Greece and Portugal, two countries engulfed by the European debt crisis, have turned to the World Bank for technical assistance, seeking advice from an institution focused on reducing global poverty, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said. The two governments have officially asked for the paid advice, though details are still being sorted out, Kim told reporters on Sunday on the sidelines of G20 meetings in Mexico City. The bank’s expertise that could be useful includes improving the business environment and public expenditures, he said.
Mexican firm wins iFone suit
A Mexican telecommunications firm named iFone has declared victory in a trademark battle with Apple Inc’s iPhone, exposing the US company to a potential compensation payment. The Mexican firm said in a statement that a court denied Apple’s bid to protect the iPhone name in a case that began in 2009, when iFone sued the California-based company because the similar-sounding names caused confusion. Apple introduced the iPhone to the Mexican market in 2007, four years after the Mexican telecoms services company says it registered the name iFone.
Tax officials auction gems
Tax inspectors are selling off at least US$2 million worth of diamonds on an Internet auction site after seizing them from people who had not paid their taxes. The five jewels include one with a starting price of ￥40.8 million (US$507,000) that experts say is a flawless 7.5 carat rock more than 1.3cm in diameter. Gemologists graded the diamond “D,” meaning it is totally colorless. In a series of auctions starting on Friday, the diamonds will go under the virtual hammer in week-long sales, with ￥25.6 million being the lowest starting price for any of the stones.
India interested in oil,gas
Indian companies are interested in investment opportunities in the country’s oil sands and liquefied natural gas markets, High Commissioner to India Stewart Beck said. The top diplomatic representative in India told reporters on Sunday that negotiations between the two countries on a treaty to protect investors in each nation will “take more time.” He said talks continue on an agreement that would allow local companies to export uranium to India.
Hyundai, Kia damage brand
Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Motors Corp, South Korea’s top two carmakers, have harmed the value of their brands by overstating the mileage of some of their vehicles sold in the US in the past two years, market researcher Interbrand Corp said. “This is going to damage their brand value, though it is difficult to give a number,” Masamichi Nakamura, executive director of Tokyo-based Interbrand Japan, said by telephone yesterday. Hyundai ranks 53th among the top 100 global brands this year with a US$7.5 billion brand value, and Kia, worth US$4.1 billion, is 87th, according to Interbrand.
United breaks in Dreamliner
United Airlines’ inaugural flight of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has touched down at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. United is the first US airline to get Boeing’s newest plane. United CEO Jeff Smisek was on Sunday’s flight from Houston to Chicago and called the 787 the “world’s leading airplane.”