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Mon, May 16, 2005 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Internet

China e-commerce to boom

China's e-commerce transaction volume is expected to rise 36 percent this year to 600 billion yuan (US$72 billion), state media reported yesterday. The forecast for this year's online activity, which is up from 440 billion yuan last year, was reported by Xinhua news agency, quoting the China Electronic Commerce Association. The growth is mainly concentrated in the nation's largest commercial hubs along the eastern seaboard, Xinhua said. The agency said the development of the sector is assisted by the government via measures such as a new law taking effect last month that provides a legal framework for the use of electronic signatures.

■ Entertainment

Wynn chides Singapore

Steve Wynn, chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts Ltd, said Singapore officials managing the bidding process for two planned integrated resorts were exerting too much direction and control over design requirements, the Sunday Times reported yesterday, citing a Business Times interview. "It's control and direction given by people who've never done this before. I don't think it's appropriate to tell someone: Give us an attraction that's irresistible, that will reach into India and China -- but we'll tell you how to design it," the report quoted Wynn as saying in the interview.

■ Energy

Japan to build Iraq plant

Japan plans to spend US$100 million to construct a power plant in Samawah, southern Iraq, where it sent a 600-strong Self Defense Forces contingent on a non-combat mission, Kyodo News reported. The 60-megawatt thermal power plant, to be built using Japanese grant aid, may begin operations in 2007, the report said, citing government officials who weren't identified. The government will complete the plan after it finishes calculating the cost of the project, Kyodo said. The province of Muthana, whose capital is Samawah, is the only one among Iraq's 18 provinces that doesn't have a power plant, Kyodo said.

■ Automotive

VW earnings to get boost

Volkswagen AG sales and earnings may benefit from the introduction of new models this year and cost cuts, Barron's reported, citing investors and industry analysts. The Wolfsburg, Germany-based automaker will introduce 20 models or variations of models this year, which should help re-ignite earnings growth, the weekly newspaper said. Investors are under-estimating the potential savings of labor contracts negotiated last year, Simon Holman, a fund manager with Aegon Asset Management in Edinburgh, told Barron's.

■ Aerospace

Executive to block French

The head of DaimlerChrysler vowed Saturday to block Frenchman Noel Forgeard from taking the co-helm at European aerospace giant EADS. "We will stop the French unilaterally taking power," Jurgen Schrempp, the head of the German car firm, a major EADS shareholder, said in an interview set to appear yesterday in the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag. His comments are the latest twist in a tug-of-war for control of the defence and space company and come after Forgeard told French daily Le Figaro on Friday that strains at EADS concerned only the shareholders and did not reflect any strains between France and Germany.

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