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Sat, Feb 25, 2006 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

Workers sew inside a shoe factory in Hanoi last September. EU trade chief Peter Mandelson announced an anti-dumping duty on Thursday on imported Chinese and Vietnamese shoes despite the risk of reigniting tensions with Europe's growing Asian trade partners.

PHOTO: AFP

■ Computers

Apple sells billionth song

"Thanks a billion." That was the message on Thursday from Apple Computer Inc to users of its iTunes music store which had notched up the sale of its billionth song since its launch less than three years ago. The site, which is closely integrated with Apple's hugely popular iPod music players, has transformed the market for downloadable music by offering single tracks for about a US dollar each through a highly user-friendly interface. According to Apple, iTunes holds some 83 percent of the market for sales of online music, which jumped 190 percent to US$1.1 billion last year.

■ Telecoms

Sony sues Samsung

Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications Ltd, the world's fifth-largest mobile phone maker last year, sued bigger rival Samsung Electronics Co, accusing it of infringing on patents related to wireless phone technology. Sony Ericsson claims that Samsung breaches 15 of its patents. The lawsuit also seeks a ruling that Sony Ericsson doesn't violate 12 patents owned by Samsung, which had the third-highest share of the global handset market last year.

■ Automobiles

China car market to boom

Vehicle ownership in China, the world's fastest-growing major economy, may double to about 55 million units in five years as falling prices entice consumers to buy cars, estimates by the Ministry of Commerce show. About 40 vehicles may be owned by every 1,000 Chinese in 2010, the ministry said in a statement on a Web site affiliated with the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Currently, every 1,000 people in China own 24 vehicles.

■ Electronics

Sanyo investment approved

Goldman Sachs Group Inc and other investors won Sanyo Electric Co shareholders' approval yesterday to invest a total of ?300 billion (US$2.58 billion) in the ailing electronics maker via preferred shares. Goldman Sachs and a unit of Daiwa Securities SMBC will each buy ?125 billion worth of the new shares, becoming Sanyo's top shareholders with each holding 24.5 percent of voting rights. Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp will buy the remaining ?50 billion worth of shares.

■ Finance

GE Money eyes India

GE Money, a unit of General Electric Co, aims to triple its assets in India by the end of 2008 as demand for credit rises in the world's fastest growing major economy after China. The consumer-lending unit of Fairfield, Connecticut-based General Electric boosted capital in the Indian operation to US$240 million from US$70 million in December to expand lending, Vishal Pandit, who heads GE Money's Indian business, said. GE Money is benefiting from demand for personal loans, credit cards and home mortgages, each of which is growing more than 50 percent every year, Pandit said.

■ China

Measures taken on yuan

China will speed up the process of making the yuan fully convertible under the capital account and improve the exchange rate mechanism, the central bank's Shanghai headquarters said. The local office of the People's Bank of China said in a statement issued late on Thursday that it will regulate capital inflows and relax restrictions on outbound investment.

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