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Mon, Aug 23, 2004 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Web Sites

Monster may be sold

Monster Worldwide Inc, the world's most-used Web site for help-wanted advertising, may attract a buyout offer after a price drop has made it shares cheap, Barron's reported. Shares have fallen about 13 percent this year to about US$19 on Friday, said Barron's. The stock may be valued at US$30 each if Founder and Chief Executive Officer Andrew J. McKelvey sold, the newspaper said, citing Jim Treacy, a former chief operating officer who has "sizeable" holdings. A lack of interest in selling by McKelvey, who owns 10 percent of the shares and controls 34 percent of the votes with some "super-voting" stock, is blocking any offer, the weekly newspaper said. Monster is the lead online employment site globally, and with 12 million visitors in June, it's one of the Web's most heavily trafficked sites

■ Mobile Phones

NEC builds in China

NEC Corp plans to raise shipments of mobile phones to China more than double in the business year beginning April 2006 and introduce new models to expand market share, the Nikkei English News reported. NEC, Japan's biggest maker of mobile phones, targets selling 5 million handsets in China in the twelve-month period compared with 2 million this business year as it competes with larger rivals including Nokia Oyj, NEN reported without saying where it obtained the information. Demand for mobile phones in China is expanding. Sales of handsets gained 9 percent last year to 60 million, with NEC holding a 3 percent share of the market, NEN said. Sales of mobile phones and related equipment helped NEC return to profit for the first time in three years in fiscal 2003.

■ Trade

S Korea's deficit rises

South Korea had a trade deficit of US$1.3 billion in the first 19 days of this month as higher oil prices increased the import bill, Yonhap News said, citing an unidentified Commerce Ministry official. Imports climbed 36.2 percent to US$11.2 billion, while exports rose 26.3 percent to US$9.8 billion, Yonhap said. Imports are expected to exceed exports for the first time at the end of this month, it said. Imports rose because rising oil prices pushed up the value of South Korean imports of oil products, Yonhap said. At the same time, exports are showing signs of slowing down in the second half, it said.

■ Economy

Japan expects growth

Japan's economy should expand further as corporations invest in machinery and other equipment to boost output in response to rising consumer demand, Heizo Takenaka, the country's economy minister, said. Slower-than-expected economic growth in the second quarter of the year doesn't signal an end to Japan's recovery, Takenaka said on Asahi Television's "Sunday Project" program. "It was a slight adjustment in an upward trend," he said. Japan's gross domestic product in the three months ended June 30 rose an annualized 1.7 percent, less than half the 4.2 percent forecast by economists. The economy slowed from the first quarter's revised 6.6 percent pace as consumer spending flagged and companies curbed investment. That result pushed the Tokyo-based Nikkei 225 Stock Average to a three-month low and sparked the biggest drop in the value of the yen against the dollar in three weeks.

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