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Thu, Jul 24, 2003 - Page 12 News List

World business quick take

Financial services

Citigroup buys PCCW stake

Citigroup Inc, which helped PCCW Ltd sell US$403 million of new shares, spent about HK$108 million (US$14 million) buying the stock, increasing its stake in Hong Kong's biggest phone company to 1.68 percent. Citigroup, the world's biggest financial services company, bought 24.57 million PCCW shares for HK$4.40 each for a total 78.2 million shares, according to a Hong Kong stock exchange statement. PCCW sold 715 million new shares last Thursday for the same price. The stock dropped 11 percent a day after the sale to the lowest level since the company took over Hong Kong's former phone monopoly three years ago. The stock was unchanged yesterday at HK$4.375 in Hong Kong.


Hand-held PC sales drop

Hand-held computer shipments dropped 11 percent worldwide in the second quarter to 2.27 million from 2.54 million a year ago, said Framingham, Massachusetts-based IDC, a market research firm. Hand-held computers lack software applications that would expand their appeal beyond the current 30 million users worldwide, IDC analyst Ross Sealfon said. Because of a crowded market and new entrants such as Gateway Inc, vendors will have a difficult time building market share, he said. Palm Inc was the worldwide leader with 40 percent market share and 903,096 units shipped, up from 845,635 a year ago. Hewlett-Packard Co was second, with 17 percent of the market and 381,000 units, down from 431,653 a year earlier. Sony Corp, with 11 percent market share, shipped 256,600 units, down from 261,380 a year ago.


Japan's confidence climbs

Japan's consumer confidence rose in the second quarter as stock indexes recovered from 20-year lows and the war in Iraq ended, a government survey showed. The Cabinet Office's quarterly index of consumer confidence rose to 37.3 in last month survey from 36.1 in March, according to a report released in Tokyo. A reading below 50 means pessimists outnumbered optimists. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average's 26 percent gain since it fell to a two-decade low on April 28 has increasing the wealth of consumers, making them more willing to spend. The report adds to evidence that Japan may avoid a fourth recession since 1991. Industrial production rose 2.6 percent in May, the biggest gain in a year.


Indonesia is hotbed of fraud

Indonesian police have confirmed international reports that the archipelago has become a hotbed for cyberfraud, harming the country's Internet transactions, a news report said Tuesday. The National Police Headquarter's information technology crime division has received more than 104 reports of cyberfraud since October said The Jakarta Post. Indonesian police have pinpointed the cities of Bandung, Jakarta, Semarang and Yogyakarta as hotbeds for cyberfraud, apparently carried out by crime syndicates. Their evidence backs up research compiled last year by the Texas- based security company ClearCommerce, which ranked Indonesia second only after the Ukraine in cases of cyberfraud. As a result of the country's reputation as a cyberfraud center, a growing number of online merchants are blocking IP addresses that originate in Indonesia, the Indonesian Association of Internet Providers said.


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