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Fri, Sep 22, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Automobiles

Ford upbeat following plan

Ford Motor Co predicted on Wednesday that its North American manufacturing plants will be running at 100 percent capacity by 2008 following its restructuring plan that expects to shutter 16 plants within the next six years. Ford said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it planned to build 3 million vehicles without paying overtime while its "maximum installed" capacity would be 3.6 million vehicles, which would include overtime. The automaker said capacity in 2008 would be projected at 100 percent "as a result of plant idlings as well as shift eliminations and linespeed reductions."

■ Betting

Sportingbet keen on US

The chief executive of Sportingbet said that he is determined to expand activities in the US, where the online gaming company's chairman was arrested earlier this month. In an interview with the Financial Times, Andrew McIver said he believed the US was the only market worth serious investment. "It's the US -- or what's the point? I still hold that view," the newspaper quoted McIver as saying. US bets account for about two-thirds of the profits at Sportingbet, which reported profit of ?20.7 million (US$20.7 million) and revenue of ?276.1 million from the Americas in the nine months ended April 30.

■ Lifestyle

Ginseng Expo opens

South Korea yesterday opened an international exhibition in honor of a herb. The theme of the 2006 World Ginseng Expo in Geumsan county is "Ginseng, Root of Life" and the exhibition aims to promote the plant's health-giving properties. Sixty-five companies and agencies from eight countries are taking part in the exhibition the government said in a statement on its Web site. More than 100 buyers are expected and domestic and foreign scholars will present 250 papers about ginseng's medical efficacy and other subjects.

■ Fraud

Skilling on alcohol rap

Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling was ticketed for public intoxication earlier this month in Dallas, according to a newspaper report. Skilling, convicted in May of fraud, conspiracy, insider trading and lying to auditors in the investigation following the company's 2001 collapse, was arrested on Sept. 9, according to a report in Wednesday's online edition of the Houston Chronicle. Public intoxication is punishable by a fine of up to US$500. He received a US$385 ticket and was briefly detained in a city jail. Skilling faces 20 to 30 years in prison in the Enron case and is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 23.

■ Aviation

Airbus announces delays

European Aeronautic Defense & Space Co said yesterday that it expects further delays in the troubled Airbus A380 program. "Continuing industrialization challenges with the wiring of production aircraft have been identified and are being tackled," it said in a statement. "Consequently, from what is known today, there will be further delays." The company did not provide further details of the cost or timeframe of the delays except to say that it expects to complete a review of the program in four weeks. The company had already admitted there will be some delays to the program, but has come under strong pressure in recent days after reports suggested further delays were about to be announced.

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