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Tue, Oct 10, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Germany

August trade surplus down

The German trade balance showed a surplus of 11.2 billion euros (US$14.1 billion) in August, down from 13.2 billion euros in July, official data showed yesterday. On a 12-month basis, the German trade surplus was lower than the 11.6 billion euros recorded in August last year, the federal statistics office, Destatis, calculated in preliminary figures. The statisticians calculated that Germany, the biggest eurozone economy, exported 69.4 billion euros worth of goods in August, up 9.6 percent on the year, while imports rose even more strongly, expanding 12.5 percent to 58.2 billion euros. Taking into account trade in services and income, Germany's current account showed a surplus of 2.4 billion euros in August, down from 7.2 billion euros in July and 3.0 billion euros in August last year.

■ Airlines

BA executive resigns

British Airways' commercial director Martin George resigned yesterday, admitting that some staff in his department may have been involved in inappropriate discussions with competitors about fuel surcharges. George, had been on leave of absence since June when the Office of Fair Trading and the US Justice Department began an investigation into alleged price-fixing agreements on fuel surcharges. Iain Burns, British Airways' head of communications, also resigned. He also had been on a leave of absence. Robert Boyle, British Airways' director of planning, was appointed to replace George as commercial director. Thomas Coops, former communications director at Abbey National, was appointed to Burns' post on an interim basis, the company said.

■ Aviation

Emirates orders 10 jets

Dubai's government-owned carrier Emirates Airline said on Sunday it has finalized an order for 10 freighter versions of Boeing Co's 747 jumbo jet. The deal is worth US$2.8 billion at list prices, though airlines typically negotiate discounts on bulk orders. Emirates SkyCargo, the company's air freight division, will receive its first delivery of the planes in 2010, said Sheik Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai-based Emirates. "Dubai has seen tremendous growth in the opportunities to provide our customers across the globe custom-tailored freight solutions," Sheik Ahmed said. "Moreover, developing this side of our business is elemental to Emirates maintaining a leading position amongst the world's airlines and we will take full advantage of the extended capacity these new Boeing freighters offer."

■ Oil

Firm investing in Riau

ChevronTexaco's Indonesian unit is to spend US$1 billion to help boost output at its declining oil fields in Riau Province, company president Suwito Anggoro said. Enhanced oil recovery technology would be used to limit the decline in output there to 8 percent to 9 percent per year, he told reporters late on Sunday. Chevron Pacific Indonesia's output is 500,000 barrels of oil per day, nearly half of the country's entire output. Its Riau operations account for about 430,000 barrels per day. Anggoro said the company was also planning to invest US$6 billion in developing a gas field off the province of East Kalimantan. He gave no further details. The gas field is expected to start production in 2012, although Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla has asked the company to make it sooner.

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