Businessman must reapply
A Chinese billionaire who wants to to lease land and build a resort in the country must reapply for government permission to proceed, reporters, citing Icelandic media said yesterday. Cabinet ministers, led by Industry Minister Steingrimur Sigfusson, were unable to make a final decision on Huang Nubo’s application because of a lack of information, the report cited state radio RUV as saying. Huang, whose attempt to acquire the land was blocked last year, said in July he secured a deal to lease the property instead to help him revive the project. Calls to Huang’s company, Beijing Zhongkun Investment Group Co, were not answered outside of normal business hours. Iceland rejected the bid to buy 300 km2 of land in November last year, saying it would be “incompatible” with the law amid opposition to foreign ownership of property.
Copyright levy under review
German lawmakers are sending legislation on possible copyright restrictions on Internet search engines, commonly called the “Google Tax,” to an expert committee for further review. The levy, being pushed by publishers, would require search engines to pay each time they link to media content such as newspaper articles or photographs. After a debate that began close to midnight, parliament said on Friday that the matter was passed on to its legal committee. Google Inc on Tuesday launched a campaign dubbed “Defend Your Web” aimed at drumming up support to defeat the measure. In a short online video, Google warned “for more than 10 years you’ve been able to find what you are looking for.” A planned law, it says, “would change that.”
Steelmaker agrees deal
The world’s top steelmaker, ArcelorMittal, on Saturday welcomed a deal over the future of one of its plants that the French government had threatened to nationalize. The dispute over closing blast furnaces at the Florange plant had risked damaging France’s image among investors, with a virulent attack by a minister on the company owned by Indian-born steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal. French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced late on Friday a deal under which ArcelorMittal had committed to invest at least 180 million euros (US$234 million) over the next five years at the Florange site in northeastern France. The government and the steelmaker had waged high stakes brinkmanship for weeks over the fate of two blast furnaces that ArcelorMittal wanted to shut for good given a slump in demand for low-end steel products.
Hyundai reports sales boost
Hyundai Motor Co said its last month US vehicle sales rose 8 percent to 53,487 units, paced by gains for its Elantra and Sonata cars.The company reported the sales gains in a Twitter post. Sales of Elantra cars surged 28 percent while sales of Sonata cars increased 13 percent, Hyundai said. Hyundai and affiliate Kia Motors Corp., both based in Seoul, may have combined to sell 9.1 percent more vehicles last month compared with a year earlier, the average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Replacement demand from owners of damaged vehicles and purchases deferred by superstorm Sandy, probably boosted US car and light- truck sales last month to the best monthly pace in more than four years. The annualized industry sales rate, adjusted for seasonal trends, may have accelerated to 15 million, the average estimate of 15 estimates.