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Wed, Jan 25, 2006 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Steel
ThyssenKrupp drops out

German steel company ThyssenKrupp AG, the world's 10th-largest steelmaker, dropped out of bidding for Dofasco Inc, clearing the way for Luxembourg-based Arcelor SA to triumph with its proposal. "The executive board of ThyssenKrupp has decided not to submit a higher offer to purchase Dofasco Inc, as an offer of more than C$68 (US$59) per share would go beyond the point of creating economic value," ThyssenKrupp said in a statement on Monday.

■ Airlines

Airbus may open PRC plant

European aircraft maker Airbus is leaning toward building an assembly line for single-aisle aircraft in China, with a decision expected by mid-year, a report said yesterday, citing company chief executive officer Gustav Humbert. The Toulouse, France-based company is conducting a feasibility study, with help from the government and local companies, on an Airbus joint venture that would turn out four A320 series aircraft a month, the state-run newspaper China Daily reported.

■ Semiconductors

Japan to tax Hynix chips

Japan said it will impose import duties on computer memory chips made by South Korea's Hynix Semiconductor Inc in retaliation for alleged illegal government subsidies, the finance minister said yesterday. The move was initially announced on Friday pending official Cabinet approval, which was granted yesterday, Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki told reporters. The 27.2 percent tariff will apply on all DRAM chips manufactured by Hynix in South Korea starting Jan. 27 for five years, Tanigaki said. This is the first time Tokyo will impose tariffs to counter alleged subsidies by a foreign government.

■ Travel

Chinese guides planned

The miracle economy is not a one-way street: 100 million Chinese are expected to be taking foreign holidays by 2020. "China is the new tiger in the tourism playground," says Australian Tourism Minister Fran Bailey. "It has the potential to do what Japan did for us in the 1980s." With China set to become the world's fourth largest source of outbound travelers by 2020, the market for guidebooks is set to soar. On the ground floor is Lonely Planet, which in January signed a contract with Chinese publishing house SDX to print Chinese-language versions of the world famous Lonely Planet travel guides. First on the shelves will be guidebooks for top destinations like Australia, Germany and Britain.

■ Drugs

Holland hosts `grass' show

Marijuana growers gathered in Europe's pot-smoking capital on Sunday for a trade show that is taking on the trappings of a major industry fair, complete with scantily clad models, glossy brochures and, of course, samples. But instead of posing next to muscle cars, the models explained the intricacies of hydroponics culture such as the "iGrow-box Intensive Irrigation System" and exhibitors showed off their bongs, grinders, rolling paper, reflective film, hemp-fabric apparel and how-to marijuana growing videos. Andre Beckers, the organizer of the International Highlife Hemp Fair, said he was expecting 15,000 to 20,000 visitors at the fair, held for the first time in Amsterdam instead of Utrecht, a smaller Dutch city to the southeast of the capital.

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