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Fri, Jul 23, 2004 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Power

China OKs nuclear plants

China has approved two new nuclear-power projects in provinces particularly hard hit by electricity shortages, state media said yesterday. The China National Nuclear Corp received the green light for the projects at a Cabinet meeting on accelerating the construction of nuclear power stations using local technology, the Xinhua news agency reported. The two projects include the second phase of the Lin'ao nuclear power plant in Guangdong Province and the first phase of the San-men nuclear-power project in Zhejiang Province, Xin-hua said. Nuclear energy accounts for only 1.4 percent of China's total electricity supply.

■ Advertising

Mao's cook beats PepsiCo

A former cook for Mao Zedong (毛澤東) has won a lawsuit against US food giant PepsiCo after it used his picture to advertise Lay's potato chips, China's state media reported yesterday. PepsiCo Foods (China) Co had no immediate comment on the report that it owes Dong Linfa 10,000 yuan (US$1,200) and a public apology following the ruling by Shanghai's Xuhui District Court, a Shanghai news-paper reported. It said that last year PepsiCo asked Dong for permission to use his picture for ads, but that the deal fell through when it would not pay the 50,000 yuan (US$6,000) he wanted. Months later, Dong found packages of Lay's chips in a supermarket adorned with his photo and information about him, the paper said. PepsiCo argued that it had permission to use Dong's photos because he had participated in a gourmet program it sponsored at a lvocational school, the report said.

■ Entertainment

Dreamworks files for IPO

DreamWorks Animation said on Wednesday that it filed to go public in a deal that would raise up to US$650 million for the studio behind the hit Shrek movies. Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are listed as lead underwriters of the initial public offering for the com-pany. The main Dream-Works group reported a first-quarter loss of US$25.9 million and operating revenue of US$40.8 million in the latest quarter. First-quarter earnings were hit

by pre-release marketing and promotion expenses associated with the May release of Shrek 2 and an increase in expenses asso-ciated with interest rate swap agreements allocated to it by DreamWorks Studios.

■ Financing

Samsung Group cuts debt

South Korea's financial watchdog said yesterday that investment restrictions placed on the Samsung Group had been lifted after an improvement in the industrial giant's debt position. The Fair Trade Commission said the decision was made after Samsung cut its debt load, pushing its debt-equity ratio below100 percent. At the end of last month the Samsung Group's debt-to-equity ratio had fallen to 84.26 percent, largely as a result of debt restructuring efforts and the strong performance of subsidiary Samsung Electronics.

■ Automobiles

Mitsubishi cuts US jobs

Mitsubishi Motors said on Wednesday that it will slash 1,200 jobs at its only US assembly plant as part of a plan to turnaround its ailing North American operation. The jobs will go at the Normal, Illinois, plant, in October, when the auto-maker eliminates one of two shifts at the plant.

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