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Tue, Jun 15, 2004 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Oil

OPEC calls for supply boost

OPEC president Purnomo Yusgiantoro yesterday urged oil producers who are not members of the cartel to increase production to help push world prices down. "We are asking non-OPEC countries to increase their supply," said Yusgiantoro, who is also Indonesia's energy minister. He told reporters OPEC would keep its promise to increase output by 2.5 million more barrels a day by Aug. 1. Non-OPEC oil producers account for about 60 percent of global production.

■ Japan

Business bankruptcies fall

The number of new corporate bankruptcies in Japan fell in May compared to the same month last year. This marks a 17th straight month of declines as companies cut back borrowing to avoid risk, a private research agency said on Monday. New bankruptcy cases decreased 20.2 percent last month from the previous year to 1,182, Teikoku Databank said. Debt left behind by collapsing companies dropped 32.9 percent year on year to ?537 billion (US$4.8 billion), falling below the ?1-trillion (US$9 billion) mark for a second straight month, it said.

■ Automakers

Former executive probed

Police yesterday raided the home of the former president of Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors Corp, who was arrested last week on suspicion of hiding auto defects even after promising to come clean in an earlier cover-up scandal. Katsuhiko Kawasoe, who resigned in disgrace four years ago when the Tokyo-based automaker acknowledged having hidden auto defects for decades, was arrested with five other former Mitsubishi Motors officials Thursday on charges related to a cover-up of defects suspected in a fatal accident.

■ Electronics

Samsung raises forecast

Samsung Electronics Co of South Korea expects revenue this year will exceed its earlier forecast by almost 8 percent, fueled by demand for mobile phones, Dow Jones Newswires reported, citing a Samsung executive. Samsung Electronics, the world's third-largest mobile-phone maker, expects sales of 50 trillion won (US$43 billion) this year, compared with an earlier forecast of 46.34 trillion won, the report said, citing Park Sang-jin, head of the company's southeast Asia and Pacific business, in an interview. The new forecast is "conservative," Dow Jones quoted Park as saying. Park reiterated that the company's second-half results would beat the first half, according to the report, which didn't specify a figure.

■ Operating Systems

IBM challenges Microsoft

IBM Corp will begin pushing Linux-based systems in Brazil as an alternative to Microsoft Corp's Windows software because many customers there still use paper-based processes and have yet to commit to any computer system, the Wall Street Journal reported. IBM will target banks and government organizations that could use open-source software to automate employee tasks, and the company has already signed an agreement with retail chain Casas Bahia SA, which will install Linux in some stores, the paper said. IBM will not focus on "desktop-productivity programs" like Open Office, which competes with Microsoft's office, but will instead design limited-purpose systems for bank tellers and retail clerks, the Journal reported.

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