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Mon, Feb 23, 2004 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ US Economy

Polls says jobs key in vote

More than two-thirds of registered voters said jobs and foreign competition will be "very important" in determining who they vote for in the November presidential election, a Newsweek poll said. Sixty-eight percent of voters said jobs and foreign competition will be very important in the presidential election, while another 22 percent said it will be somewhat important, according to the poll of 1,019 adults on Thursday and Friday last week.

■ Life Insurance

IBM wins Mitsui contract

IBM Japan Ltd signed a 10-year, ?36 billion (US$330 million) contract to provide clerical operations services for Mitsui Mutual Life Insurance Co starting in April, the Nihon Keizai newspaper said. The Tokyo-based arm of International Business Machines Corp will send 30 engineers and other personnel to an equally owned venture with a Mitsui Mutual unit, according to the newspaper, which didn't say who provided the information. The business will cut Mitsui Mutual's clerical costs by more than 10 percent, saving ?5 billion over the life of the contract, the report said.

■ Lottery

Winner bags US$230 million

The Mega Millions lottery said yesterday 1 person won Saturday night's US$230 million jackpot, the largest amount in the lottery's history to go to a single winner, and that the winning ticket was sold in Virginia. It was bought in Stephens City, Virginia, according to a press release on the lottery's Web site. Stephens City is about 85 miles west of Washington. The winning numbers were 01-13-20-21- 30 and the Mega Ball number was 24. The last jackpot was awarded on Dec. 30, when one winner in Ohio garnered a US$162 million prize. The odds of winning Saturday's jackpot were about one in 135 million, lottery officials had said.

■ Telecoms

China to invest less

China's fixed-asset investments in the telecommunications industry are expected to drop to 210 billion yuan (US$25.4 billion) this year, China Central Television reported, citing the Ministry of Information Industry. That's a 6.5 percent decline from the 224.6 billion yuan investment last year cited by the country's phone regulator earlier. Subscriber growth will also slow this year, the annual report cited by CCTV showed. China Mobile Communications Corp and China United Telecommunications Corp are expected to add 52 million cellular users this year compared with a gain of 63 million users last year, CCTV said.

■ Biotechnology

India given upbeat outlook

India's biotechnology industry has the potential to create 1 million jobs and earn revenue worth US$5 billion over five years, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported, citing an Ernst & Young International report. India's advantage in biotechnology lies in its low cost and skilled work force, the paper said. The same factors have made the country a favored destination for software and technology services, the newspaper said. The cost of developing a new drug, which costs US$800 million in the West, may cost as half as much in India, the daily said.

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