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Sat, Jun 12, 2004 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Automobiles

Phantom's value ghostly

Depreciation is a fact of life for any new car owner, but purchasers of the super-luxury Rolls-Royce Phan-tom could be in for a shock -- it sheds value at a rate of ?910 (US$1,700 ) every week. According to a specialist car valuation guide for British motor dealers, the Phantom loses more than half its whopping ?252,000 purchase price in three years, the Financial Times said. The calculation by the Glass's Guide publication is an estimate, the paper said, given that no examples of the Phantom, a large, powerful and exceed-ingly luxurious four-door saloon, have been sold in Britain as yet.

■ Aviation

Beijing buys Airbus A330s

China signed a contract to buy US$2 billion worth of Airbus passenger planes and a French-made TV satellite yesterday, the last full day of an official visit to France by Deputy Prime Minister Zeng Peiyan (曾培炎). At a ceremony hosted by Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, The head of China Eastern Airlines signed a firm order for 20 Airbus A330-200s with an option on a further 10 of the wide-bodied jets. The head of Chinese satellite operator Chinasat also signed an order for a TV satellite from French technology group Alcatel. Other deals signed included a technology-transfer accord for high-speed electric trains between Alstom and China's CNR Datong Electric Locomotive Co as well as research and cooperation agreements for Chinese nuclear power plants. Zeng visited Airbus' headquarters in southern France on Thursday and also visited a factory belonging to Alstom, the maker of high-speed TGV trains. Zeng was to meet with President Jacques Chirac later yesterday before returning home today.

■ Economy

Japan sees 13-year CCI high

Sentiment by Japanese consumers last month hit the highest level since September 1991, the Cabi-net office said yesterday. The unadjusted consumer confidence index for nationwide households, excluding single-person households, rose 2.9 points from April to 48.3, marking the highest reading since September 1991's 48.5 points. The index is cal-culated by assigning points on the basis of whether consumers believe their sentiment in four categories -- employment, overall livelihood, income growth and inclination to purchase durable goods -- in the coming six months will "improve," "improve some-what," "remain unchanged," "deteriorate somewhat" or "deteriorate."

■ Automobiles

Japan seeks fine

Japan's transport ministry yesterday applied to a Tokyo court to fine scandal-plagued Mitsubishi Motors for failing to recall trucks to fix a clutch defect that led to a fatal accident. The filing with the Tokyo District Court is the latest bad news to hit the automaker, whose sales are plummeting, after its former president and five other executives were arrested for the cover-up on Thursday. The court is to determine what penalty may apply, up to a legal limit of ?200,000 (US$1,820) against Mitsubishi Motors Corp, ministry official Masami Morita said. "The company did not issue a recall even while repairing vehicles for what it knew was a defect," Morita said. Transport "This was a deadly weapon on wheels," Minister Nobuteru Ishihara said. "The accident could have been prevented."

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