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Sat, Jul 26, 2003 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Fraud
Man convicted of bond fraud

A Chinese businessman has been sentenced to life in jail by a court in southern Guangdong province for massive bond fraud, state media reported Friday. Lan Yunsheng, the former general manager of Heyuan Ausheng Co, illegally raised 1.01 billion yuan (US$122 million) from 192 different companies via bond repurchase transactions, Xinhua news agency said, citing the court. Lan falsified documents in order to complete the bond repurchase transactions, Xinhua said. Another company employee and a securities trader were also sentenced to lengthy jail terms for their roles in the scam, according to the agency.

■ Trade

US Congress approves FTA

The US House of Representatives Thursday approved a free-trade pact with Singapore, giving the US administration a victory and advancing the the first US free-trade deal with an Asian nation.

The House passed the measure 272 to 155 and approved a separate pact with Chile 270 to 156. The measures are expected to win passage in the Senate next week, which would ratify the pacts signed by US President George W. Bush's administration. The US Congress agreed to give the president the authority to negotiate trade agreements that could be voted up or down by lawmakers, but not modified. Thursday's action drew quick praise from US business groups, which said the free-trade measures would be good for companies and the economy.

■ Aerospace

US revokes Boeing contracts

The Pentagon said Thursday it was revoking US$1 billion worth of contracts awarded to Boeing Co following allegations its employees stole trade secrets from a rival defense contractor. The contracts will be reassigned to one of Boeing's rivals, US Air Force Under Secretary Peter Teets told reporters. The move follows allegations that certain Boeing employees obtained proprietary information from competitor Lockheed Martin Corp during the bidding process for a 1998 contract to launch military satellites. "We are extremely disappointed by the circumstances that prompted our customer's action, but we understand the US Air Force's position that unethical behavior will not be tolerated," said Boeing chairman and chief executive officer Phil Condit in a statement.

■ Trade

HK's exports grow 14%

Hong Kong's exports last month surged 14.0 percent from a year earlier, picking up from the 13.6 percent rate reported for May as demand increased in East Asia and Europe, the government said yesterday. The territory's exports last month reached HK$142.3 billion (US$18.27 billion), the Census and Statistics Department said in a statement. Re-exports, or those trans-shipped through Hong Kong mostly from China, increased 16.5 percent to US$132.1 billion while locally made or domestic exports fell 10.4 percent to US$10.3 billion, it said. Imports rose 11.5 percent to US$146.4 billion last month to leave a visible trade deficit of US$4.0 billion. Export growth picked up again to double-digits on the back of a distinct increase in demand from China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia. Exports to the EU likewise recorded faster growth last month but exports to the US dipped further, falling for the third month in a row.

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