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Fri, Dec 03, 2004 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Semiconductors

STMicro to invest S$2bn

STMicroelectronics NV, Europe's largest semiconductor maker, will invest S$2 billion (US$1.2 billion) over the next two years in Singapore, where it runs four factories, according to a statement from the government. STMicroelectronics, which accounted for about 19 percent of Singapore's semiconductor production last year, will spend the money to "increase its capacity," according to an e-mailed speech by Singapore Trade Minister Lim Hng Kiang. STMicroelectronics, based in Geneva, said earlier that it makes chips in Singapore for products such as cellphones equipped with digital cameras.

■ Finance

Deutsche to cut jobs

Deutsche Bank confirmed Wednesday it would eliminate 2,300 jobs from its German workforce over the next two years. The biggest German bank said the shrinkage would leave it with a German staff of 25,410. It would attempt to avoid layoffs and follow principles of social responsibility while downsizing. Subsidiary companies would create 350 new jobs at the same time. Juergen Fitschen, newly appointed chief of German domestic operations, said the bank would at the same time aim to put a higher priority on offering advice to its retail customers.

■ Courier Services

UPS to take over venture

Logistics giant United Parcel Service (UPS) said yesterday it plans to take control of its international operations in China under an agreement that requires it to pay partner Sinotrans Air Transportation US$100 million. The US-based parcel-delivery company will take over joint-venture operations covering Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin and Qingdao in January and will assume control of 18 additional locations from its partner by December next year.

■ Textiles

US firms oppose quotas

An association of US textile importers and retailers said it has filed a lawsuit to prevent the US commerce department from considering import quotas on Chinese products sought by textile manufacturers. The US Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel said in a statement that it went to court on Wednesday seeking an injunction to stop the US government from "wrongly considering imposing safeguards against products of China." The group is objecting to a series of petitions from US textile companies and an inter-governmental lobby group that has demanded the Commerce Department limit certain textile imports from China they say harm domestic manufacturers.

■ US Economy

Expansion gains ground

The US economic expansion is gaining power and delivering new jobs, but consumer spending seems patchy, the Federal Reserve's Beige Book survey showed Wednesday. "Reports from the 12 Federal Reserve districts generally paint a picture of continued economic growth from mid-October to mid-November, with a number of areas improving," it said. Economic activity grew in most of the country, with four districts including New York saying the pace had quickened, said the report, which is released eight times a year. The labor market improved, it said. There was little upward pressure on wages, however. But "overall consumer spending was uneven since the last Beige Book," the central bank said.

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