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Wed, Oct 11, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Singapore
Q3 economy up 7.1 percent

Third-quarter real GDP is estimated to have grown 7.1 percent from the same period last year, largely in line with forecasts, official figures showed yesterday. This compares with GDP growth of 8.0 percent year-on-year in the second quarter and 10.6 percent in the first quarter, Ministry of Trade and Industry figures showed. On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted annualized basis, real GDP rose 6.0 percent in the July to September period, compared with a 3.4 percent rise in the preceding quarter,it said.

■ Telecoms

Motorola challenges bid

Motorola Corp has gone to court to challenge a decision by India's state-run telephone service firm that disqualified the US telecom equipment maker from bidding on a large contract. India's BSNL Ltd is the only company offering landline and mobile phone services across all states and federal territories. The contract on offer involves laying 62 million GSM lines and supplying 3-G equipment. BSNL's technical evaluation committee disqualified Motorola and Chinese telecom giant ZTE from the bidding process last week. Bidding opened on Monday and newspapers reported yesterday that Sweden-based Ericsson emerged as a favorite, offering to execute the contract at a cost averaging US$107 per line.

■ Internet

Google sets up R&D center

Google Inc, which has failed to make major inroads in tech-savvy South Korea, plans to establish a research and development center in the country and hire local employees, the commerce ministry said yesterday. "Now we will have the chances to experience and learn Google's advanced technology and know-how," said Commerce Minister Chung Sye-kyun. "We hope Korea will become a global R&D hub." Google's senior vice president, Robert Eustace, said that the Seoul government's strong encouragement persuaded the company to make the investment.

■ Investment

China fund picks US banks

China's multi-billion-dollar National Social Security Fund said yesterday it had selected US financial heavyweights Citigroup and Northern Trust as its custodian banks for overseas investment. The fund secured approval in May to invest up to 44 billion yuan (US$5.5 billion), or 20 percent of the more than 200 billion yuan it has under management, the fund said in a statement. The Chinese national pension schemes are currently composed of global equities, such as US and Hong Kong stocks, as well as fixed-income products. At the end of last year, China had around 210 billion yuan in its national-level pensions that fall under its social security system.

■ Automobiles

Four Toyota staff arrested

Four Toyota sales subsidiary employees were arrested yesterday on charges of inflating vehicle sales numbers in reports to the government, police said. Earlier in the day, police had searched the subsidiary, Osaka Toyota, company officials said. They said the subsidiary, which operates about 60 stores, has been under police investigation about overstating sales figures for used vehicles. A subsidiary spokesman said earlier that results of an internal investigation have already been submitted to police and transport ministry authorities, and the company is cooperating fully with the investigation.

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