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Mon, Jan 16, 2006 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Electronics
Intel, BMW seek standard

Intel Corp and BMW are seeking a common industry standard to make it easier to use laptops, telephones and portable MP3 players in cars. The standard would be the result of a broader cooperation between Intel and BMW, according to recent reports by the chipmaker. The two firms will be working together in both the motorsport and IT system fields.

■ Forex

China's reserves ballooning

China's foreign exchange reserves reached US$818.9 billion at the end of last year, up 34.3 percent year-on-year, state press announced yesterday, citing central bank figures. China's foreign exchange reserves, second largest in the world after Japan, have grown remarkably in recent years thanks to strong fund inflows and a burgeoning trade surplus. Forex reserves hit a record US$609.9 billion in 2004, up from US$403.3 billion in 2003. Thanks to its booming exports, China's trade surplus tripled to a record US$101.9 billion last year.

■ Steel

ThyssenKrupp increases bid

German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG said on Saturday it was increasing its takeover bid for Dofasco Inc of Canada as it tries to beat out competition from Arcelor SA. ThyssenKrupp has agreed to increase its offer from C$63 (US$54.25) per share to C$68 (US$58.55), the companies said in a joint statement. It did not provide an overall valuation of the offer. The German firm said it would inform Dofasco's shareholders of the higher offer today and extended its deadline by one day to Jan. 26. Dofasco said it would also write to its shareholders, urging them to accept.

■ World Trade

Trade talks to resume

Top trade officials from 30 countries plan to resume talks this month on a new global treaty based on an agreement made at the WTO meeting in Hong Kong, India's commerce minister said yesterday. The talks in Davos, Switzerland, will be held at a meeting on the sidelines of the annual World Economic Forum summit, said India's Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath. The forum's five-day meeting begins on Jan. 25. After missing an initial target to set a framework for a new trade liberalization treaty during the Hong Kong talks last month, ministers from the WTO's 149 member governments now aim to hammer out specifics of tariff and subsidy cuts on industrial and farm goods by the end of April.

■ Investment

Foreign investors wooed

Japan plans to step up measures to woo foreign firms to purchase companies or make other direct investment here in a bid to invigorate its economy, a report said yesterday. The government wants to boost foreign direct investment in Japan to ¥26.4 trillion (US$232 billion) by the end of 2011, double the level estimated for the end of this year, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will mention the plan in his policy speech on Friday when parliament convenes, the respected economic daily said, adding that a taskforce would draw up plans to achieve the target. The government is hoping that foreign investors will introduce new technology and management systems into the country, it said.

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