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Thu, Dec 15, 2005 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Stocks

Bourse reprimanded

Japan's Financial Services Agency (FSA) yesterday reprimanded the Tokyo Stock Exchange and ordered it to improve its business practices after a simple typo caused chaos on the market. The bourse admitted last Sunday that a fault in its system had prevented a Mizuho Securities trader from canceling an erroneous sell order, which resulted in an estimated loss of US$330 million. A "business improvement order" was slapped on the exchange, demanding that it ascertain the cause of the botched trade and take steps to prevent a recurrence, review its market surveillance system and clarify where responsibility lies. It must report back by the end of next month. The fiasco was triggered last Thursday as the dealer punched in an order to sell 610,000 shares in telecoms firm J-Com at ?1 each instead of the intended one share at ?610,000 (US$5,078).

■ ECONOMICS

China revises GDP figures

China will overtake Britain as the world's fourth-biggest economy this year after Beijing found it had underestimated output of the fastest-growing country in the world by as much as 20 percent. China's first national census will show that under-recording of the service sector meant that China was just behind Britain in the global league table last year. Economists said another year of rapid growth in China, a weak UK performance and changes in exchange rates left only the US, Japan and Germany ahead of China this year. China's GDP had been put at US$1.65 trillion last year. The census found an extra US$300 billion of output -- in sectors such as law, financial services, consultancy and advertising -- and will lead to revisions in the growth rate over the past 10 years.

■ ELECTRONICS

Samsung tops in LCDs

Samsung Electronics Co shipped more liquid-crystal- displays (LCDs) used in computers and TVs than LG.Philips LCD Co to become the industry's top producer in the third quarter, a researcher said. Samsung's market share rose to 21.8 percent in the third quarter, compared with 20.2 percent in the second quarter, Texas-based DisplaySearch said in a press release yesterday. LG.Philips saw its slice fall to 21.4 percent from 23.4 percent in the preceding quarter, according to the statement. Shipments of LCDs measuring at least 10 inches diagonally in the quarter rose 79 percent from the year-earlier period to 61.1 million units, led by sales of panels used in televisions, the researcher said. LCD makers are building multibillion-dollar factories to expand production, betting that consumers will replace glass-tube monitors and TVs with slimmer LCDs.

■ TELECOMS

NTT DoCoMo eyes KTF

Japan's NTT DoCoMo said yesterday it is in talks with South Korea's KT Freetel Ltd (KTF) about a possible mobile-phone services tie-up. The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported yesterday that NTT DoCoMo, Japan's biggest mobile phone service operator, will likely reach an agreement this year on a US$500 million to US$600 million deal with KTF. The deal would lead to DoCoMo acquiring a roughly 10 percent interest in the South Korean cellphone service provider by purchasing a portion of the 48.7 percent stake held by KT Corp. It's still uncertain, however, whether the Japanese firm will take a stake in KTF, NTT DoCoMo spokesman Kiyotaka Naiki said.

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