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Thu, Sep 14, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Vietnam
Gas prices cut as oil falls

Gasoline prices were cut by more than 8 percent in response to easing global crude oil prices, as the communist nation shifts toward a more flexible pricing system in the state-run sector. Petrol prices now range from 10,600 to 11,000 dong (US$0.66-US$0.69) per liter following a 1,000 dong cut on Tuesday, while diesel and kerosene prices remain unchanged. Easing Middle East tensions have contributed to a fall in crude prices, which topped US$78 in July but is now just under US$64.

■ Finance

UK considers market move

Britain is mulling laws aimed at protecting its financial markets in the wake of a bid by New York's NASDAQ to buy the London Stock Exchange, a minister said yesterday. The UK Treasury's newly appointed economic secretary Ed Balls said the move is not meant to block foreign ownership of London's bourses but will ensure regulatory powers remain in the hands of the City watchdog, the Financial Services Authority (FSA). "It will confer a new and specific power on the FSA to veto rule changes proposed by exchanges that would be disproportionate in their impact on the pivotal economic role that exchanges play in the UK and Europe," Balls said.

■ China

Regulatory link planned

The government plans to set up an agency to link regulatory efforts by the central bank, market watchdogs and other monitors, a deputy finance minister said yesterday. Such an agency would be meant to respond to changes in China's evolving financial industry, Vice Finance Minister Li Yong (李勇) said in a speech to a financial conference. "We are trying to set up a financial supervisory coordinating system between the central bank, fiscal department and financial regulators," Li said. He didn't say what form the new body would take. China also is studying how to establish a deposit insurance system, Li said.

■ Auto industry

Ford to review cost plan

Ford Motor Co's board is expected to review a plan to cut white-collar staffing, benefits and other costs by 30 percent as part of a broader restructuring, according to a published report. The plan was reported on Tuesday night on the Web site of the Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed "people familiar with the matter." Ford's board meets yesterday and today. The Wall Street Journal reported that details of the cost-cutting efforts could be disclosed as soon as tomorrow. It said Ford's board is also expected to hear details about a new pricing strategy aimed at keeping prices closer to the suggested retail price.

■ Auto industry

Hino mulls S Korea tie-up

Japanese truck maker Hino Motors Ltd is mulling a tie-up with Europe's fourth-biggest truck manufacturer, Sweden's Scania AB, to sell midsize trucks in South Korea, a Hino spokesman said yesterday. The deal, if realized, would expand an already-existing technological exchange and cooperation agreement between the two companies, Hino spokesman Junichi Yoshida said. The move underscores Hino's efforts to better compete with its rivals in the global market such as DaimlerChrysler AG, which acquired Hino's domestic rival Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corp. Yoshida said Hino is considering selling 4-tonne trucks through Scania's sales network in South Korea.

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