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Mon, Aug 28, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Aviation
Boeing invests in Huneed

Boeing Co said yesterday it has signed an agreement to make a minority equity investment in Huneed Technologies, a South Korean manufacturer of military communications systems. Terms of the deal, announced in a press release, were not disclosed. Boeing said that the investment is subject to regulatory approval and the transaction is expected to be completed by the end of next month. Boeing said Huneed has experience in battlefield communication radios, Korean cryptographic equipment and software development. Huneed has worked with Boeing in South Korea on the Airborne Early Warning & Control advanced radar system for Boeing 737 aircraft.

■ Paper

Oji shelves takeover bid

Japan's largest paper producer Oji Paper Co plans to drop its hostile bid for rival Hokuetsu Paper Mills Ltd, at least for now, news reports said yesterday. The takeover battle -- started by Oji this month -- is believed to be unprecedented, pitting one Japanese company against another in the same industry. Japan's Asahi Shimbun reported that Oji plans to drop its takeover bid for now because it is unlikely to acquire more than 50 percent of Hokuetsu shares, citing an unnamed Oji official. Kyodo News agency said Oji plans to convey the plan to shareholders at the end of this month. The tender offer bid came a week after Hokuetsu rejected a first merger proposal from Oji and said it would instead go ahead with an previously planned tie-up with trading company Mitsubishi Corp.

■ Environment

S Korea plans green rewards

South Korea plans to offer financial incentives to local companies to encourage them to put more resources into cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the budget and energy ministries said yesterday. The government would start offering financial incentives from next year to companies that cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by more than 160 tonnes of oil equivalent a year, they said in a joint statement. "The incentive system will encourage companies to invest early in efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions," the ministries said. "Such efforts will enhance our position in ongoing global negotiations to make emission cuts mandatory."

■ Coffee

Prices surge on shortage

Coffee prices struck seven-year peaks on London commodity markets last week and will remain volatile owing to stretched global supplies, which could slightly increase the cost of a cup of the popular hot drink, analysts say. In last Friday trading on the LIFFE, London's futures exchange, Robusta quality for November delivery leapt to US$1,502 per tonne, from US$1,460 a week earlier. Prices are surging on the back of lower exports from Vietnam, the world's second-biggest coffee producer, where heavy rain has disrupted harvests. There were also fresh reports last week of damage to stockpiles of the commodity in Italy. The development also lifted the price of Arabica beans which are mainly grown in Brazil, the world's leading coffee producer. "Coffee prices have risen sharply on near-term supply concerns, but an improved Vietnam crop should ease market tightness from November," Standard Chartered analyst Helen Henton said. "However, low stock levels have increased medium-term vulnerability."

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