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Fri, Oct 20, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Music
Card duo boycott Web site

Visa International and MasterCard Inc have stopped accepting credit card transactions for purchases of online music made on a Russian Web site accused of selling music illegally, officials for both payment systems said. San Francisco-based Visa asked member banks not to process purchases from AllofMP3.com as of Sept. 1, said Simon Barker, a spokesman for the company. MasterCard, the No. 2 payment system in the world behind Visa, ceased accepting credit card purchases on the Web site in early August, said Chris Harrall, a spokesman for the New York-based company.

■ Semiconductors

AMD earnings surprise

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Inc said on Wednesday that it earned US$134 million, or US$0.27 per share, in the third quarter. That's an increase from US$76 million, or US$0.18 a share, in the same period last year and greater than analyst expectations. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected AMD to report, on average, earnings of US$0.24 per share on US$1.31 billion in revenue. The California-based computer chip maker said after the market closed that revenue for the three months ended Oct. 1 was US$1.33 billion, down from US$1.52 billion last year. Last year's profit was depressed by the company's unprofitable flash memory business, which was spun off late last year.

■ Machinery

Duo form nuclear company

Japanese heavy machinery maker Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Areva of France are forming a partnership in nuclear power, both sides said. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has had business with Areva in the past as a supplier, but the latest deal marks a major step up in their ties. Japan's top business daily reported yesterday Mitsubishi and Areva will develop and manufacture nuclear power generation equipment targeting the US market. They will also develop new technologies, such as one related to ensuring the safety of nuclear reactors, the newspaper said.

■ Automobiles

Nissan issues global recall

Nissan Motor Co has begun recalling over 130,000 vehicles globally -- including 80,000 in North America -- because of an ignition key defect, a company official said yesterday. Nissan yesterday launched a recall in Japan of over 50,962 sport utility vehicles (SUV) produced between August 2004 and this July, Nissan spokeswoman Madoka Soma said. Overseas, the company began recalling about 70,000 Muranos in North America, 300 in Taiwan and 800 in Singapore on Wednesday, Soma said. No X-Trails have been sold overseas. The recalls involve only the cars with "intelligent keys" with IC tips inside.

■ Commodities

Gazprom not sharing field

Russian gas monopoly Gazprom's surprise decision to develop the world's largest gas field without foreign partners was the result of research data showing Shtokman field to be much richer than first expected, the Kommersant daily reported yesterday. Results of the probes in the field's central well proved "unexpectedly positive," sources quoted by the daily said, suggesting that new estimates significantly lowered the risk which Gazprom could now venture to bear alone. According to the source, Shtokman reserves were now estimated at "at least 4 trillion cubic meters of gas" as compared to earlier estimates of 3.4 trillion.

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