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Sat, Jul 30, 2005 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Lse Takeover
Bids threaten competition

The UK's financial watchdog said yesterday that two takeover bids for the London Stock Exchange (LSE) would substantially lessen competition, raising the prospect they will need to cede control of their clearing operations to win approval. The Competition Commission said in its provisional findings that a takeover by either Deutsche Boerse or Euronext would make it more difficult for other exchanges to compete with the LSE in trading UK equities because of both bidders' ownership or control over clearing services to the LSE. The watchdog said remedies could include Deutsche Boerse selling or divesting operational control of Eurex Clearing, or a requirement that Eurex is not used as a clearer for the LSE. It said Euronext could divest control of LCH.Clearnet or divest operational control of the business, or make a commitment that it would allow competitors access to its clearing services.

■ Automakers

Honda tops in fuel economy

Honda Motor Co posted the highest average fuel economy for its new vehicles this year, but automakers made little progress in making automobiles more fuel-efficient, the US Environmental Protection Agency reported. The agency said on Thursday in its annual findings that the estimated average fuel economy for 2005-model vehicles was 8.93km per liter, a fleet-wide average that increased 0.08km per liter from the previous year. It was 5 percent below the peak of 9.4km per liter in 1987, the agency said. Honda led the automakers with a fleet average of 10.67km per liter, followed by Toyota Motor Corp with 9.99km per liter. Ford Motor Co posted the lowest average at 8.29km per liter, but that represented an increase of 0.17km per liter over the previous model year. DaimlerChrysler AG had a fleet average of 8.42km per liter, and General Motors Corp had 8.72km per liter.

■ Auto recalls

Mitsubishi to sue executives

Mitsubishi Motors said yesterday it was taking legal action seeking US$10 million from former executives over defect and recall cover-ups that have helped make it the worst performing Japanese automaker. Japan's fourth-largest carmaker filed a suit against seven former company officials, including a chairman and two presidents, in the Tokyo District Court, charging that they had "inflicted tremendous losses" on the company. The suit seeks a total of ¥1.1 billion (US$10 million) in damages. Former chairman Hirokazu Nakamura faces the biggest sum, ?394 million, for having failed to "abide by laws." Nakamura held the post from 1995 to 1997.

■ Airlines

China to buy 50 Boeing 787s

Chinese national airlines will sign contracts early next month worth a combined US$6 billion dollars for 50 Boeing 787 aircraft, the National Development and Reform Commission said yesterday. The agreement was part of a deal initially aired in January and was not a new order from the Chinese government, said George Liu, vice-president of communications at Boeing China. "We are finalizing the commitments for 787s that have been signed back in January. This is not a new order," Liu told reporters. The airlines include Air China, China Eastern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Xiamen Airlines and Shanghai Airlines, with the first aircraft delivery slated for June 2008, a commission statement said.

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