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Wed, May 03, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

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PHOTO: EPA

■ Tourism
Massive hotel strip planned

A local company will build the world's longest hotel strip as part of a US$27.3 billion tourist and leisure resort in Dubai, the Gulf News newspaper said yesterday. The project will be spread over 12.5 million square meters in Dubailand, a tourism, real estate, hospitality, entertainment, leisure and retail mega project under development. It will feature a cluster of 31 hotels offering more than 29,000 rooms and 100 theatres presenting live cultural shows, said the newspaper said. Tatweer, a unit of Dubai Holding and builders of the project, said it will boast the world's largest concentration of leading hotels and help Dubai cope with the 15 million tourists it hopes to attract by 2010.

■ Electronics

LG says it's No. 1 in PDPs

South Korea's LG Electronics said yesterday it topped global sales of plasma display panels (PDPs) in the first quarter of the year, regaining the crown from Japan's Matsushita Electric Industrial. LG Electronics, citing a recent report by DisplaySearch, said it was also the world's biggest PDP producer for the first time in five years. LG Electronics accounted for 31 percent of the global PDP production during the quarter while Matsushita and South Korea's Samsung SDI came second with 24 percent each. In terms of sales for the quarter, LG Electronics posted US$569 million while Matsushita had US$451 million and Samsung SDI US$421 million.

■ Aviation

Thai offspring planned

Thai Airways announced plans yesterday for a new airline on domestic and regional flights as part of its strategy to combat cut-throat competition from budget rivals. The airline, called Euarng Luang, will target the mid-range market and start flying later this year within Thailand and to Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, said Thai Airways new president Apinan Sumanaseni. Thai Airways also said it would raise its fuel surcharges by 25 percent on domestic flights in the next two weeks and the beginning of next month on international flights, to reflect the higher fuel costs. Apinan said that despite high fuel prices, the carrier expected better results this year than last year on the back of increased bookings. Some 74 percent of seats were filled last month, up from 71 percent for the same time last year, he said.

■ Automobiles

Hyundai to ink Czech deal

Hyundai Motor Co said yesterday that the signing of a deal to build a plant in the Czech Republic will take place in that country later this month as scheduled, despite an embezzlement scandal plaguing the South Korean automaker. But a groundbreaking ceremony for the 1 billion euro (US$1.2 billion) plant will be delayed indefinitely, considering the "current situation," the company said in a statement, referring to the arrest of its chairman Chung Mong-koo. It also said there won't be a formal signing ceremony. The investment would be the largest single foreign investment in the Czech Republic to date, and the plant would become the company's first assembly plant in the EU.

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