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Wed, May 07, 2003 - Page 12 News List

World business quick take

Interest rates

US Fed unlikely to change

Alan Greenspan was expected to use the influence he's cultivated as chairman to convince the US Federal Reserve's mone-tary policy committee yesterday that the US economy will accelerate and interest rates should remain unchanged for now. Greenspan told members of Congress last week the economy will grow at a "noticeably better pace" later in the year, suggesting to most analysts the Fed will leave the overnight bank lending rate at its 41-year low of 1.25 percent. Interest rates were low enough to keep the econ-omy expanding last year in spite of concerns about war and terrorism, a 23 percent decline in the Standard and Poor's 500 stock index and a rise in joblessness.

Computers

Dell to shorten name

Dell Computer Corp. will ask shareholders in July to shorten its name to Dell Inc to reflect its expansion into other areas of the techno-logy business. The personal-computer maker said Mon-day that its name doesn't fit anymore because it is also a leading seller of servers, storage systems and other technology goods and services. "The board of directors believes that `Dell Computer Corpor-ation' is no longer reflective of Dell's business as it exists today," the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The name change would need approval of share-holders, who are scheduled to meet July 18 in Austin, Texas.

SARS

Motorola to reopen office

Motorola Inc, the largest foreign investor in China, closed its head office in Beijing on April 28 after one employee contracted severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and plans to reopen it on Monday, company spokeswoman Mary Lamb said. The Chinese employee fell ill on April 24 and stayed home for two days, she said. He was admitted to a hos-pital April 27 and was confirmed on May 1 to have SARS. "As a precautionary measure, Motorola closed the office through the end of this week," Lamb said. "Employees are working remotely from home. We have another facility in Beijing that will also house employees if they need to go to an office to work." China is the com-pany's second-largest market after the US.

Stocks

AOL Time Warner sale

Ted Turner, the biggest individual shareholder of AOL Time Warner Inc, sold more than half of his stake in the world's biggest media company in a transaction valued at about US$789 million. Turner sold the 60 million shares through Goldman, Sachs & Co, according to traders at money-management firms. Goldman is trying to sell the shares to institutional investors at US$13.15 each, said the traders, who received calls from the securities firm's sales force.

Banking

Swiss hunt Iraqi deposits

Swiss banks are taking longer than expected to declare Iraqi deposits in their hands, the Swiss economics ministry said on Monday. A spokesman said that one month after it ordered all banks in the country to declare any Iraqi-owned accounts, many had still not submitted all the information needed to compile a list of Iraqi assets. The spokesman said officials were "somewhat surprised" by the delay because banks were meant to keep an eye on Iraqi transactions under UN sanctions introduced in 1990.

Agencies

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