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Sat, Jul 03, 2004 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Forex

Lehman sees dollar drop

Lehman Brothers Holdings said the dollar will fall after the Federal Reserve's decision to raise its target interest rate by a quarter point from 1 percent. The firm cut its forecast for the dollar versus Canada's currency. "Expectations of higher US interest rates cannot serve as a source of support for the dollar for-ever," Jim McCormick, Lehman's head of global currency research in Lon-don, wrote in the firm's weekly report on currency strategy. "Although rising US interest-rate expecta-tions have been a source of support for the dollar in advance of the first rate hike, the historical relation-ship has eventually broken down." Lehman reiterated its May 27 recommenda-tions to sell the dollar versus the currencies of Japan, Switzerland and Canada.

■ Banking

Strikers seize building

Up to 2,000 striking workers occupied the headquarters of the Citigroup-owned KorAm Bank yesterday, crippling the lender's operations as the strike entered its eighth day. Customers have withdrawn about 1.91 trillion won (US$1.65 billion) from the mid-size lender this week, the government's Financial Supervisory Service said yesterday. On Thursday alone, the bank's deposits fell by 271.8 billion won to 28.82 trillion won. KorAm's 2,500 unionized workers began the strike last Friday, demanding a wage hike and job guarantees in the wake of a takeover by US-based Citigroup earlier this year.

■ Media

Black sues over sale

Conrad Black sued Hollin-ger International in a US court on Thursday, demand-ing that the company hold a shareholder vote on its proposed sale of the British Daily and Sunday Tele-graph newspapers, his holding company said in a statement. Black's holding company, Hollinger Inc, took the dispute to Dela-ware Chancery Court, the company said in a state-ment. Black is seeking to force Hollinger Interna-tional to hold a shareholder vote on its June 22 deal to sell its most valuable asset, the Telegraph Group, to the Barclay brothers for about US$1.33 billion. The lawsuit is the latest round in a seven-month dispute between Hollinger International and Black.

■ South Korea

Seoul to boost construction

South Korea's government said it will spend an extra 2 trillion won (US$1.7 billion) on roads, homes and bridges to stem a slowdown in the construction industry, which accounts for about a fifth of Asia's third-largest economy. Part of the money will come from the 4.5 trillion won extra budget the government announced last month, the Ministry of Construction and Transpor-tation said in a statement. Construction orders fell for a fifth straight month in May, sliding 24 percent from a year earlier, a government report showed earlier this week. That was the biggest drop in 14 months.

■ Japan

Softbank mulls C&W bid

Internet investor Softbank Corp is in talks with Britain's Cable and Wireless to purchase its Japanese unit, the Asahi newspaper said yesterday. Softbank reportedly aims to strengthen its Internet-based telecommunications services through the purchase. Softbank was expected to pay about ?10 billion (US$92 million) for Cable and Wireless IDC, which has about 40,000 corporate clients in Japan.

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