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Mon, Feb 27, 2006 - Page 12 News List

World business Quick Take

AGENCIES

Butchers finalize loading of a 2,022m long sausage, during the 22nd annual sausage festival in the village of Turija, some 140km north of Belgrade, Serbia-Montenegro, on Saturday. They claim it's the world's longest and plan to invite `Guiness Book of World Records' judges as they are extending it every year by 2m.

PHOTO: AP

■ electronics

Infineon spin-off dragging on

Infineon AG's plans to spin-off its memory chip division are "hopelessly behind schedule" and threaten a planned share sale for the division this summer, Welt am Sonntag reported, citing an unidentified Infineon manager working on the project. It's unlikely that Infineon will be able to make the initial public offering this year, the manager told the German weekly. Infineon still has not clarified details necessary for the banks working on the share sale to move the project forward, an unidentified investment banker told Welt am Sonntag.

■ leisure

Japan may legalize casinos

Japan's ruling party is mulling plans to legalize casinos in a bid to attract more foreign tourists to the country, a news report said yesterday. Quoting unidentified lawmakers, Kyodo News agency said the Liberal Democratic Party would encourage lifting Japan's ban on gambling parlors, following in the footsteps of Singapore, which last year reversed its decades-old ban on casinos. The subcommittee plans to produce an interim report in April that will outline possible legal changes, Kyodo said.

■ automobiles

Swiss autoshow opens soon

Automakers will be showing off their flash and frugality side by side at the Geneva auto show as they introduce edgy models aimed at drivers looking for style. But mindful that consumers are feeling the high price of gasoline, automakers at the 76th International Motor Show will also be touting new fuel-efficient engines, diesel-powered vehicles and smartly designed hybrids. The Swiss show opens to the public on Thursday and runs until March 12. It will host 262 exhibitors from more than 30 countries, displaying 924 makes and models.

■ communications

Mitsubishi losing in China

Mitsubishi Electric is planning on drastically scaling back its money-losing handset business in China and sacking about 200 employees, a report said. The Japanese company plans to close three of the four bases held by Mitsubishi Soyea Mobile Communication Equipment at the end of next month, Jiji Press news agency said late on Saturday. Headquartered in Beijing, Mitsubishi Soyea is 36 percent owned by Mitsubishi Electric. The company plans to gradually reducing its capital participation ratio, but wants to remain a stakeholder in the venture as "a foothold for the future," the agency quoted an anonymous Mitsubishi official as saying.

■ industry

State-run firms lose money

Seven Taiwanese state-run companies registered combined pre-tax losses of NT$4.017 billion (US$123 million) last month, the Commission of National Corporations (CNC) reported yesterday. Taiwan Sugar Corp (台糖), Taiwan Water Corp (台灣自來水), China Shipbuilding Corp (中船) and Aerospace Industrial Development Corp (漢翔) made record profits for last month, but Chinese Petroleum Corp (CPC, 中油), Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) and Tang Eng Iron Works Corp (唐榮) all operated in the red. Affected by high prices of crude oil, coal and natural gas on the world markets, CPC and Taipower posted pre-tax losses of NT$3.246 billion and NT$1.256 billion, respectively. Tang Eng Iron Works also registered pre-tax losses of NT$40 million due to dropping steel prices.

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