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Wed, Jan 12, 2005 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Currencies

Samsung turns to euro

Samsung Electronics Co, South Korea's biggest exporter, is planning to reduce dollar transactions after the US currency fell 11 percent against the won in the past year, said public relations manager Cho Sung-in. "With the weakening dollar and strengthening euro, we are currently examining ways to conduct more of our transactions in euros," Cho, Seoul-based manager of overseas public relations at Samsung Electronics, said in an e-mail. Cho didn't elaborate. The dollar's decline exceeded the 9.4 percent drop in the euro against the South Korean currency in the past 12 months.

■ Brands

Adidas sues over stripes

Adidas-Salomon AG, the world's second biggest athletic apparel maker, filed a lawsuit accusing clothing company Abercrombie & Fitch Co of improperly using the three stripes that are associated with Adidas products. The German shoemaker began selling sneakers with three stripes along the side more than 50 years ago, and expanded into clothing around 1967. The lawsuit, filed in Portland, Oregon, claims that Abercrombie is selling pants and jackets with three side stripes and is "passing off its goods as those of Adidas." Adidas has been aggressive in protecting what it contends is its ownership of stripes on athletic wear, with about three-dozen lawsuits since 1999. The Abercrombie suit, filed Dec. 23 in US federal court, seeks an order that blocks sales of any clothing with stripes, forces the destruction of existing merchandise and makes Abercrombie pay damages.

■ Telecoms

KDDI gaining on rival

KDDI Corp, Japan's No. 2 mobile-phone company, signed up more subscribers last year than its bigger rival, NTT DoCoMo Inc, and the local unit of Vodafone Group Plc. Tokyo-based KDDI signed up a net 2.7 million subscribers last year, and now offers mobile services to 22.4 million users. DoCoMo added 2.2 million subscribers last year for a total of 47.9 million, while Vodafone KK gained 437,000, bringing its total to 15.2 million. KDDI is catching up with bigger rival DoCoMo by getting more customers to transfer to high-speed, or third-generation, services that allow faster downloading of music, video and other data than on older networks. In December, KDDI signed up a net 257,100 subscribers, beating DoCoMo, which added 247,500. Vodafone KK gained 900.

■ Infrastructure

Dubai to build new airport

Dubai, the base of Emirates, the largest Arab airline, will start building a second airport next month that can handle 120 million pass-engers a year to help it become a global center for world transport, Gulf News reported. The new airport will cover 140km2 adjacent to Jebel Ali seaport, the Middle East's largest shipping terminal, west of the main city of Dubai, the newspaper reported, citing the official state news agency. The sheikhdom already plans to invest US$5.3 billion in the next five years expanding its existing airport, boosting capacity to 70 million passengers a year by 2010 from 22 million now, accord-ing to a prospectus for bonds to finance the airport. The target capacity for both airports would exceed last year's total for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Internat-ional Airport, the world's busiest, and London's Heath-row, according to data from the Airports Council Inter-national industry group.

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