Qantas maintenance to stay
Qantas Airways Ltd said yesterday it would keep its maintenance operations in Australia for now, but announced plans to close its engineering plant in Sydney and cut 480 jobs by May as part of a major cost-cutting drive. Chief executive Geoff Dixon said the restructuring would save A$100 million (US$74 million) a year, but warned that shifting thousands of maintenance jobs overseas was still a long-term option. Transport Minister Warren Truss welcomed the decision not to outsource maintenance jobs, and said he had made it clear to Qantas it was "strongly in the national interest" to keep them in Australia.
China announces IPR plan
China's government has created a plan to intensify intellectual property rights protection this year, the government said yesterday. The plan covers trademarks, patents and import and export activities, the official Xinhua News Agency said, citing the Commerce Ministry. China is widely regarded as the world's top producer of illegal copies of music, movies, software, designer clothes, medicines and other products. Such fake products are still widely available despite repeated government crackdowns. Under the latest plan, China will draft or revise 17 laws and regulations concerning trademarks, copyrights, patents and customs this year, Xinhua said. It said officials will take measures to raise public awareness about protecting intellectual property rights, and will conduct international exchanges and cooperation as part of the effort, Xinhua said. It did not give further details of the plan.
China rejects joint project
China has rejected a Japanese proposal for joint development of disputed natural gas deposits in the East China Sea, Kyodo News agency reported, citing the Chinese Foreign Ministry. The two countries have been feuding over the deposits. China claims it has rights to the natural gas, but Tokyo says the two countries should share them. Kyodo quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang (秦剛) as saying that the development is taking place in undisputedly Chinese waters, and that Beijing would reject Japan's joint development proposal. Qin also said China rejects as a one-sided a Japan-proposed "median line" to separate their economic waters in the East China Sea, Kyodo said.
NYSE shares jump
The New York Stock Exchange got off to a flying start on Wednesday as its shares became publicly traded for the first time in its 214-year history. NYSE Group shares soared 24.5 percent to US$80 on heavy volume of 6.3 million shares after the exchange completed its merger with Archipelago, an electronic market platform. NYSE chief executive John Thain bought 100 shares at US$67 each on Wednesday in the first trade for the NYSE Group, which ended more than two centuries as a member-owned institution in a major revamp. The market on Tuesday completed its US$9.5 billion merger with Archipelago Exchange, a cutting-edge electronic platform. Renamed the NYSE Group and sporting the share ticker "NYX," the new company had a market capitalization of roughly US$10 billion, more than three times the size of the NASDAQ, an alternative market dominated by technology listings.