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Thu, May 25, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Electronics
NEC, Microsoft to cooperate

Japanese electronics maker NEC Corp and US software company Microsoft Corp announced plans yesterday to expand their business partnership in the networking and server businesses. NEC president Kaoru Yano and Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer told reporters in Tokyo that the companies also plan to deepen their patent cross-licensing efforts as part of the expanded relationship. The two companies will work together on such products as Internet telephone servers and Microsoft communications platforms, the pair said. The companies will also jointly develop technologies to improve the quality of Internet-based telephone calls and the sending of video images over the Internet, they said.

■ M&A

Euronext spurns Germans

Euronext NV shareholders rejected a proposal on Tuesday to commit in principle to a merger with Deutsche Boerse Group, giving a boost to a rival takeover bid from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). As the dance between some of the world's largest stock exchanges continued, Euronext's boards reiterated they prefer an offer from the NYSE Group Inc to one proposed by the German stock exchange. Euronext CEO Jean-Francois Theodore said at the annual shareholders meeting that he and the supervisory board had not made a final decision to formally endorse either bid, but advised shareholders to vote against declaring a preference for Deutsche Boerse.

■ Economy

Japan on the mend: IMF

Japan has finally emerged from the "lost decade" of deflation and is set to continue on a path of robust growth, weathering an expected end to zero interest rates, the IMF said yesterday. "Japan has now exited from the period of deflation. The problems from the lost decade basically appear to be behind us," said Daniel Citrin, deputy director of the IMF's Asia and Pacific Department. That contrasts with Tokyo's official view that the economy remains beset by mild deflation. The IMF also trimmed its growth forecasts slightly to reflect the slowdown seen in the first quarter of this year and revisions to data for last year. It now sees economic growth of about 2.75 percent this year, down from 2.8 percent previously, slowing to 2.0 percent next year instead of 2.1 percent.

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