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Wed, Oct 18, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Telecoms
Nokia users to get CNN

Nokia Oyj, the world's largest cellphone supplier, said on Monday it had inked an agreement with Turner Broadcasting for mobile phone users to view Turner's Cartoon Network on mobile handsets in Europe. Cellphone subscribers, using Nokia's Content Discoverer, will be able to browse, download and purchase over-the-air Cartoon Network games, video clips and other content, Nokia said. Financial terms were not disclosed. Turner Broadcasting System Europe Limited broadcasts news and entertainment on several channels, including CNN, Cartoon Network and Turner Classic Movies in 100 countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

■ Telecoms

LG's Q3 profit plunges

LG Electronics Co yesterday said that third-quarter net profit plunged as a hefty loss in its flat-panel unit erased profits from mobile phone sales. LG Electronics earned 22.7 billion won (US$23.8 million) in the three months ended Sept. 30, the company said in a statement, representing a drop of 85 percent from the same period last year. Margins in LG Electronics' handset division swung into the black, after posting losses the two preceding quarters, on robust sales of its trendy, higher-priced "Chocolate" mobile phones.

■ Aviation

BA opens bid for new planes

British Airways yesterday launched bidding for the renewal of its long-haul fleet and invited US plane maker Boeing Co and its European rival Airbus SAS to take part. Among the planes BA plans to replace are 20 Boeing 747 jumbo jets and 14 Boeing 767s that have been in service for up to 25 years, the airline said in a statement. Orders for the planes are expected to be placed next year. BA said it would consider the purchase of Airbus' new A380 superjumbo and Boeing's innovative 787 Dreamliner. The current list prices for the all aircraft being considered range between US$160 million and US$316 million.

■ Banking

ICBC's IPO fully subscribed

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (中國工商銀行), China's largest lender by assets, said yesterday that the strategic tranche of its Shanghai initial public offering was fully subscribed on the first day it was opened to institutional investors. Among a total of 23 domestic strategic investors, state-owned China Life Insurance (Group) Co, its Hong Kong-listed unit China Life Insurance Co and China Pacific Life Insurance Co were the biggest bidders, each bidding for 2 billion yuan (US$252 million) worth of new yuan-denominated "A" shares, the company said.

■ Software

iSoft open to takeover

British software developer iSoft Group PLC, which has suffered from problems with a massive government contract, yesterday said it is open to takeover offers. The announcement came as the company disclosed that it expects revenues to drop by 10 percent to 15 percent in the first half and in the full year which ends April 30. The cost of new arrangements negotiated with banks in August "will become progressively more onerous through 2007," company chairman John Weston said in a statement. He expects revenue to start growing again in the 2008 fiscal year. The company secured two contracts in 2004 to develop software for Britain's National Health Service. The venture has been hit by delays and cost overruns.

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