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Wed, Oct 25, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Retail
Wal-Mart China issues card

US retail giant Wal-Mart will issue a co-branded credit card with the US-based multinational company General Electric later this week, a company official said yesterday. "We will launch the GE Wal-Mart card this Friday, which will be offered in southern China," said Huang Jianling, a Shenzhen-based Wal-Mart spokeswoman. "It can be used inside China and abroad." A separate Wal-Mart credit card issued last month is already in service for northern China, she added.

■ Beverages

Coke two plead guilty

Two men on Monday pleaded guilty in a US court to conspiring to steal and sell Coca-Cola Co trade secrets, the state attorney's office in Atlanta, Georgia said in a statement. Ibrahim Dimson, Edmund Duhaney and a former Coca-Cola employee, who has pleaded not guilty, were arrested in July on charges of selling secrets from the Atlanta-based company to soft drink arch-rival PepsiCo. Each could receive a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to US$250,000 if found guilty. Dimson and Duhaney admitted they had conspired with former Coke executive assistant Joya Williams to steal trade secrets and sell them.

■ Food and Drink

PepsiCo boss unveils plans

PepsiCo Inc's new chief executive, Indra Nooyi, said on Monday the snack food and beverage company's diverse portfolio would enable it to extend its growth and that she did not see a need for any drastic shift in strategy. Nooyi spoke to analysts and investors in her first public address about the company's strategy since she took over as CEO on Oct. 1, replacing Steve Reinemund and becoming one of the most prominent female CEOs in corporate America. "I realize when most companies change CEOs, there can be a fair amount of change and direction in strategy. That's not going to be the case today," Nooyi said.

■ Investment

Intel buys into Vietnam

Vietnam's leader in information technology FPT Corp said yesterday it had sold shares worth some US$36.5 million to US chip giant Intel Corp and private equity firm Texas Pacific Group. FPT said the deal with Intel's venture capital arm Intel Capital, and TPG marks "one of the largest cross-border investments in Vietnam by leading global investment firms, underlining the long-term confidence that institutional investors have in the country. Details of the two Intel Capital and TPG's respective investments were not immediately available. Last February, US chip giant Intel said it would build a US$300 million chip assembly and test plant in Vietnam.

■ Patents

IBM accuses Amazon

IBM, the holder of the largest patent storehouse in corporate US, filed two lawsuits against Amazon.com, contending that the company has built its big online retail business on technology developed by IBM. The suits, filed in two federal courts in Texas, seek unspecified damages, but IBM says that Amazon's infringement is broad, suggesting the potential for a sizable judgment or settlement. An IBM spokesman said the figure could run to hundreds of millions of dollars. "These patents are core to modern electronic commerce," said John E. Kelly III, senior vice president for technology and intellectual property at IBM. "Most if not all of Amazon's business is built on top of this technology."

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