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Wed, Dec 10, 2003 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Aviation

Court approves bid

The Ontario Superior Court has approved a bid by an investment company controlled by Victor Li (李澤鉅), son of the Hong Kong magnate Li Ka-shing (李嘉誠), to become the largest single shareholder in Air Canada. But the investment company, Trinity Time Investments, still faces a rival bid from Cerberus Capital Management of New York, which told the court that it would present a new offer on Tuesday. Air Canada, which is based in Montreal, has been under court protection since April. It carries about two-thirds of Canada's domestic traffic and has the biggest route network of any foreign airline in the US.

■ Chipmaking

Texas Instruments grows

Strong growth across nearly all major product lines caused Texas Instruments Inc to raise its projected fourth-quarter ranges for both sales and earnings. Ron Slaymaker, vice president for investor relations for the Dallas-based chipmaker, said demand for chips used in wireless devices has been particularly strong, but he added Monday that "most major semiconductor lines are expected to [show] double-digit sequential growth" from the third quarter. He declined to provide specifics regarding individual products or markets, saying TI won't do so until it formally releases its fourth-quarter results. The event Monday was a mid-quarter update. The company's latest forecast calls for fourth-quarter earnings of US$0.25 to US$0.27 a share, including a gain of US$0.07 a share from the previously announced sale of 32.3 million shares of Micron Technology Inc. Excluding that gain, the forecast equates to earnings of US$0.18 to US$0.20 a share.

In October, the company pegged its fourth-quarter earnings at US$0.14 to US$0.19 a share.

■ Shipping

US, China sign accord

The US and China on Monday signed a landmark maritime accord, designed to prise open Chinese markets to US shipping companies. "It puts our shipping companies where the business is, closer to their markets and their customers," said US Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta. More cargo containers move between China and the US than any other country in the world. Over 3.2 million containers go on ships between the two countries every year, according to the US Department of Transportation. Mineta signed the deal with China's Minister of Communications, Zhang Chunxian (張春賢), a day ahead of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's (溫家寶) visit to the White House.

■ Trade

China's exports rise again

China's exports grew more than a third for a second straight month in November as exporters accelerated shipments to the US, Europe and Japan to take full advantage of tax rebates that will be reduced from next month. Overseas sales rose 34 percent from a year earlier after climbing 37 percent in October, according to Bloomberg News calculations. Rising exports are helping China's economy, the world's sixth-largest, grow faster than any other major economy. The government predicts growth will accelerate to 8.5 percent this year from an 8 percent pace last year. China's imports for the first 11 months of this year rose 39 percent to US$370.6 billion, leaving a trade surplus for the period of $19.7 billion, Liu said.

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