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Thu, Aug 03, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Telecom
SingTel subscribers soar

Growth in Indonesia and India has pushed Singapore Telecommunications' regional mobile phone user base above 92 million at the end of June, Southeast Asia's biggest phone firm said yesterday. It said it added 7.4 million mobile phone subscribers in the three months to June compared with the previous quarter, the highest increase in its history. On a year-on-year basis, SingTel's mobile users rose 30 percent from 71 million.

■ Environment

Bank to finance credits

Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Bank said yesterday that it will tie up with the Bank of Brazil to secure credits for Japanese firms in cutting greenhouse gases under the Kyoto Protocol. Sumitomo Mitsui's Brazilian subsidiary and Brazil's central bank plan to jointly finance Brazilian environmental projects in which Japanese firms would participate, the Japanese bank's spokesman said. "Usually many Japanese firms look towards India, our closer neighbor, to buy emission credits but we decided this time to look at the other end of the world," the spokesman said. "Brazil also has many small projects such as setting up methane-burning systems in [pig farms] which we can offer to smaller Japanese firms that don't emit as much greenhouse gas as large companies do," he said.

■ Steel

Mittal must offer buyout

Mittal Steel Co NV must make an offer to buy out shareholders of a Brazilian division of Arcelor SA as part of their blockbuster steel company merger, Brazilian regulators ruled on Tuesday, in a side deal that analysts said could raise the cost of the US$31.9 billion combination by another US$5 billion. Minority shareholders of Arcelor Brasil SA asked the Brazilian Security and Exchange Commission earlier this month to rule on the issue after Mittal said it didn't plan to offer a buyout. Arcelor and Mittal are trying to create a steel titan with close to 10 percent of global production that will save the combined operations some US$1.6 billion.

■ Automobiles

GM revises Q2 earnings

General Motors Corp (GM) said on Tuesday it revised its second-quarter earnings to reflect an additional net loss of US$200 million tied to estimated after-tax charges from the pending sale of a 51 percent stake in its finance arm. GM, in a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, said its previously announced adjusted earnings of US$1.2 billion, or US$2.03 per share, were not affected by the changes. The world's largest automaker said last week it lost US$3.2 billion in the second quarter as it dealt with major charges in its large North American restructuring program. With the revisions, the net loss for the quarter has been increased to US$3.4 billion, or US$5.97 per share.

■ Resource

ADB funding gas project

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said yesterday that it has approved a US$350 million loan to help develop a major natural gas project in Indonesia. The bank said the multibillion-dollar Tangguh Liquefied Natural Gas Project in Irian Jaya Barat Province is its first private sector loan in Indonesia's oil and gas sector. A senior official said the project encourages the use of clean energy around the region by providing environmentally benign liquefied natural gas. The project is being developed by the London-based BP.

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