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Fri, Jul 09, 2004 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Semiconductors

Hynix debt plan rejected

Hynix Semiconductor Inc, the world's third-largest maker of computer-memory chips, failed to get approval on a plan aimed at reducing more than 1 trillion won (US$869 million) of debt, its largest shareholder said. The proposal, which involved asking banks to accept losses on some of their credits to the South Korean chipmaker, failed after Korea Development Bank rejected the idea and demanded early payment, said Min Seung-ki, head of the Hynix team at Korea Exchange Bank. Hynix is 81 percent owned by Korea Exchange and other credi-tors. It wants to cut debt as higher chip prices allow the company to forecast its first annual profit since 1999.

■ Mobile Phones

Sharp wants 10% growth

Sharp Corp, Japan's largest maker of liquid crystal display panels, is targeting 10 percent annual growth in mobile phone sales, corpor-ate executive director Masafumi Matsumoto said. Sharp also aims to take between 4 percent and 5 percent of the global hand-set market in the long term, compared with 2 percent now, Matsumoto told a press conference in Tokyo. Sharp's mobile-phone sales rose more than expected in the April-to-June quarter, Matsumoto said.

■ Trade

China upset at US duties

Beijing expressed concern yesterday at a preliminary US decision to impose anti-dumping duties of up to 112.81 percent on imports of Chinese shrimp but said both sides should address the dispute calmly. "China expresses concern over the relevant decision made by the US side," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue (章啟月) told a news conference. "It's quite normal to have some trade conflicts with the back-ground of the rapid develop-ment of the two countries' trade and economic rela-tions," she said. Vietnam on Wednesday called the decision to impose duties up to 93.13 percent on its exports unjust and bad for its shrimp farmers and consumers. A final decision on the duties is expected in November.

■ Aviation

Charters buy Boeing's 7E7

Blue Panorama of Italy and First Choice Airways of the UK, are the first in Europe that plan to buy Boeing's new 7E7 Dreamliner pas-senger jets, the company said on Wednesday. Blue Panorama plans to order four of the jets while First Choice expects to buy six, Boeing said. The 10 planes would be worth US$1.2 billion at list prices. Deliveries would begin in 2009, Boeing said. Mike Bair, Boeing's senior vice president in charge of the 7E7 program, said the two charter airlines are pri-marily interested in the 7E7-8, which seats 217 passen-gers in three classes and can fly nearly 9,800 miles.

■ Software

Judge OKs settlement

A California judge granted final approval in a US$1.1 billion settlement between Microsoft Corp and con-sumers, who accused the company of violating state antitrust and unfair com-petition laws. The judge said the settlement was "fair, reasonable and adequate compensation" for more than 14 million eligible consumers. He dismissed all objections to the settlement, which was reached in January last year. The settlement stems from a class-action lawsuit filed in 1999. Microsoft must distribute up to $1.1 billion in the form of vouchers for computers and software products.

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