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Mon, May 30, 2005 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Telecoms
Cellphone sales up 17%

Mobile-phone sales rose 17 percent to 180.6 million units worldwide in the first quarter from the year-earlier period, driven by consumer demand for camera phones and special offers, the San Francisco Chronicle said today. Finland's Nokia OYJ remains the world's largest manufacturer with an estimated 30.4 percent of the market in the first quarter, the newspaper said, citing a report by market research firm Gartner Inc. Motorola Inc was second with 16.8 percent, followed by Samsung Electronics Co with 13.3 percent. Siemens AG, which has been losing market share, was in fifth place, capturing 5.5 percent of the market, the paper said.

■ Aviation

Cathay pilots drop suit

Many of the 51 Cathay Pacific pilots fired in 2001 who were suing the airline have agreed to drop their legal action in exchange for payments, the airline said yesterday. The pilots were sacked in July 2001 after cockpit crews protested over wages and scheduling, costing Cathay millions of dollars. Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd spokeswoman Carolyn Leung declined to say exactly how many accepted the management's offer of 10 months' severance pay and the chance to reapply for jobs with the carrier.

■ China banking

Bank removes two officials

Scandal-riddled China Construction Bank (中國建設銀行) has removed two senior officials in a bid to present a clean image to potential investors ahead of a planned overseas share sale, state media reported yesterday. The heads of two provincial branches have left office to take the blame for financial crimes and irregularities that happened at outlets under their jurisdiction, the Xinhua news agency reported. Xinhua did not specify what irregularities had reportedly taken place on their watch. The bank has been extra sensitive to suspicions of wrongdoing after its former chairman Zhang Enzhao (張恩照) stepped down amid media reports of corruption earlier this year.

■ China economy

Futures, index possible

China may launch share index and treasury bond futures to make it easier for investors to hedge risk, state media reported yesterday. The go-ahead for financial derivatives will depend on how well the market develops for existing futures in a limited range of commodities, Xinhua news agency said, citing the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC). While the CRCS is warming to the idea of futures, it plans to keep tight controls on the industry, vowing to improve supervision, according to Xinhua.

■ Transportation

Mitsubishi wins contract

Mitsubishi Corp, Japan's biggest trading company, won a US$3.4 billion contract to build a light-rail network in Dubai, the first urban commuter metro in the Persian Gulf sheikhdoms where record oil revenue is spurring growth. Tokyo-based Mitsubishi will lead a group of companies that includes Japan's Obayashi Corp and Kajima Corp to build the project, digging a 9.7km-long tunnel, laying almost 72.4km of rail line through the city. "We are very excited about this project and what it will bring to Dubai," Qassim Sultan, director of Dubai Municipality, said at a press conference in Dubai yesterday.

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