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Wed, Aug 09, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Electronics
Matsushita looks overseas

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co, the world's biggest electronics maker, is seeking to triple the contribution of overseas earnings to 60 percent in three years through sales of digital video cameras and plasma televisions. "If we can earn 60 percent of our profit from abroad, that would be ideal," Fumio Ohtsubo, who became president of the Panasonic brand maker in June, said in an interview. "It would be desirable to realize the 60 percent to 40 percent ratio between overseas and Japan in the year ending March 2010." The company is aiming for 40 percent of the global plasma market this fiscal year.

■ Aviation

Air China scales back IPO

Air China, the national flag carrier, said yesterday it had scaled back its planned US$1 billion IPO in Shanghai by nearly half due to weak investor interest. Air China now plans to issue 1.639 billion A-shares at 2.8 yuan per share in its IPO, the carrier said in a statement to the Shanghai stock exchange. The reduction of nearly one billion shares means the carrier, already listed in Hong Kong and London, will now raise no more than about US$570 million compared with the US$1 billion it had originally hoped for. The lackluster demand comes as a blow to Air China, which had hoped to capitalize on the recent rush for new domestic shares sales after a year-long suspension on public fundraising was lifted in June.

■ Banking

ABN Amro staff detained

A state-owned Vietnamese bank has filed a lawsuit against ABN Amro in a dispute over foreign currency deals, and Hanoi police have detained four of the Dutch-based bank's local staff, sources and reports said. Two Vietnamese ABN Amro staff have been arrested and two placed under house arrest while police investigate the transactions conducted with a trader of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of Vietnam (Incombank). A Hanoi court is scheduled to start hearing the civil suit against ABN Amro on Monday. Incombank has demanded ABN Amro pay US$5.4 million that it claims went missing in speculative deals carried out by the alleged rogue trader at Incombank's Haiphong branch, state media have reported.

■ Food

Krispy Kreme dips into HK

US doughnut maker Krispy Kreme began dipping into the massive Chinese-speaking market yesterday by opening a shop in Hong Kong. The shop marks Krispy Kreme's debut on Chinese soil and only its second foray into East Asia. So far, Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Corp has nine shops in South Korea, but it's expanding aggressively in other parts of the region.

■ Computers

Lenovo rolls out AMD PCs

In another sign of the inroads Advanced Micro Devices Inc is making against rival Intel Corp, No. 3 computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) is rolling out a new line of desktop PCs with AMD chips. Lenovo has long offered PCs with AMD chips in Lenovo's home market of China, but not until February did Lenovo launch AMD-based PCs elsewhere. Now, AMD chips will be available in Lenovo's new ThinkCenter A60 PCs, which are targeted at big business customers. Intel sells about 80 percent of the world's microprocessors, but AMD has eaten up about 5 percentage points of Intel's market share.

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