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Thu, Oct 05, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Economy
FDI in S Korea drops

Foreign investment in South Korea fell 14.8 percent in the third quarter amid concern about steady outflows of foreign capital, official data showed yesterday. From July through last month, direct foreign investment (FDI) stood at US$2.6 billion, down 14.8 percent from a year earlier, the ministry of commerce, industry and energy said. For the first nine months of the year, FDI dipped 2.3 percent year-on-year to US$7.52 billion, the ministry said, forecasting FDI will fall to US$11 billion by the year's end from US$11.6 billion last year. Experts blamed the drop on reduced foreign investment tax breaks, a tax audit of foreign funds and steps aimed at curbing the power of foreign investors.

■ Aviation

US mulls China-route bids

The selection of an airline to get a new US-China route would be based on the maximum benefit to the public, the spokeswoman for the US Department of Transportation said on Tuesday. American Airlines, Continental, Northwest and United have submitted bids offering the next direct flight from the US to China. "The department's principal objective is to maximize the public benefits that result from the award of new international authority," spokeswoman Lori Irving said in a statement. The department is expected to choose one airline by the end of this year. The new flights will begin on March 25.

■ Hotels

Tata to buy Ritz-Carlton

The Tata Group plans to buy Boston-based Ritz-Carlton hotel for US$170 million, news reports in India said yesterday. The deal will be executed by the US subsidiary of Indian Hotels Company Ltd that runs Tata's Taj brand of hotels and resorts, the Business Standard newspaper said quoting R.K. Krishna Kumar, vice chairman of Indian Hotels. It was not clear if the Tatas would change the brand of the 79-year-old hotel, the Economic Times said. The Ritz-Carlton hotel would be the second US hotel to be acquired by the Tata Group. The group took over management of the Pierre Hotel in Manhattan last year.

■ Manufacturing

Westinghouse shift nears

Toshiba Corp said yesterday that it expected to wrap up its takeover of Westinghouse Electric Co, the US producer of atomic power plant equipment, by the end of this month. Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co and the Shaw Group Inc of the US will be partnering with Toshiba to complete the acquisition of the company from its parent, British Nuclear Fuels PLC, Toshiba said in a statement. BNFL agreed in February to sell the business along with its US unit, BNFL USA Group, to Toshiba for US$5.4 billion. Toshiba's ownership interest in Westinghouse will be 77 percent, Shaw's 20 percent and IHI's 3 percent, the statement said.

■ Electronics

Fujitsu recalls Sony packs

Sony Corp's defective battery problems widened yesterday as Japanese computer maker Fujitsu said it will recall 287,000 Sony-made laptop battery packs. The recall is in line with Sony's offer last week to replace all of the potentially hazardous batteries. Fujitsu had already announced on Friday that it would exchange battery packs used in its FMV notebook computers although no malfunctions had been reported with them. At the time it did not say how many batteries it expected to recall.

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