China develops 3G chip
Chinese researchers have developed the country's first high-speed chip for third-generation phones using wideband code division multiple access, or WCDMA technology, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. The chip, produced jointly by Southeast University and Dongda Communication Co, passed voice and data transmission tests, proving it meets international WCDMA standards, Xinhua said in a report late on Monday, citing sources at the university located in the eastern city of Nanjing. Named Noah3000, the chip transmits data up to three times faster than the rival CDMA2000 technology, the report said. It said the chip's designers have obtained 16 domestic and international patents for the device.
Japan planning FTA talks
Japan plans to begin talks on a free trade agreement with India and Australia next year and with China in 2009, in a bid to play a leading role in bringing about a proposed East Asian economic grouping, a report said yesterday. A government plan through 2010 envisages FTAs with resource-rich and food-exporting countries as part of efforts to both bolster national security and promote economic integration in East Asia, the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper said, without citing sources. Japan supports the inclusion of Australia and India in the East Asian Community, which was proposed at the inaugural East Asian Summit last month in Kuala Lumpur. That meeting, which came on the heels of the annual ASEAN summit, saw bickering between Japan and China over their wartime past.
Singapore economy booms
Singapore's economy grew at a faster than expected 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter of last year compared to the same period in 2004, bolstered by exports of electronics and drugs, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said yesterday. It was the fastest pace in five quarters. The MTI estimated a growth of 5.7 percent for the year. On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted annualized basis, GDP expanded by 9.7 percent following an 8.6 percent gain in the preceding quarter. The manufacturing sector was estimated to have grown 11.5 percent, buoyed by strong expansion in the electronics and biomedical clusters. Electronics output between January and November rose 7.5 percent from a year earlier, while pharmaceuticals production gained 18.7 percent in the period. Growth in the chemicals and precision engineering clusters also strengthened from the previous quarter.
ABN Amro to launch bid
Dutch bank ABN Amro Holding NV said on Monday it will soon launch another takeover bid for Banca Antonveneta SpA after its earlier attempt spawned a scandal that prompted the resignation of Italy's central bank chief. Amro said it controls 55.8 percent of Antonveneta after buying a 25.9 percent stake held by Banca Popolare Italiana Scarl for 2.1 billion euros (US$2.48 billion). Milan prosecutors had frozen Popolare Italiana's shares in Antonveneta after impounding them during an investigation into the Italian bank's bid for Antonveneta earlier this year. They released the shares last month.