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Fri, Oct 27, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Automobiles
Ford raising China sourcing

Struggling US auto giant Ford Motor Co which just posted a US$5.8 billion third-quarter loss, said yesterday it plans to ramp up auto parts sourcing in China by at least US$1 billion this year. "We will purchase over US$2.6 billion worth of auto parts and systems to supply the production outside China for all our brands across the world," Ford chairman William Ford Jr said in Beijing. Ford Motor set up an auto parts procurement center in Shanghai in 2002, and has forecast an increase in purchases in China to US$10 billion by 2010.

■ China

Pressure on yuan: expert

The yuan could rise further given the nation's relatively high interest rates, the chief researcher at the People's Bank of China said yesterday. There is still upward pressure on the yuan because relatively high Chinese interest rates is causing a continued inflow of funds from abroad, said Tang Xu (唐旭), director-general of the bank's research bureau. However, encouraging Chinese households and firms to buy US dollar assets could help to relax pressure on the currency to some extent, he said. Two days before Tang's comments, bank Vice Governor Wu Xiaoling (吳曉靈) said Beijing would carry out exchange rate reform "in a controlled and gradual manner on our own initiative."

■ Locomotives

Alstom to supply China

Alstom SA of France signed a contract worth 1.2 billion euros (US$1.5 billion) yesterday for the delivery of 500 freight locomotives to China, according to an Agence France Presse report. Alstom will link up with China's Datong Electric Locomotive to deliver the trains, with Alstom's share of the contract coming to 300 million euros, it said. Alstom will be in charge of designing the locomotives, described by Alstom Chief Executive Patrick Kron as "the most powerful in the world." The first 110 of the locomotives will be produced at Alstom's plant in Belfort, France, before production moves to facilities in north China operated by Datong Electronic Locomotives.

■ Gaming

Nintendo's profit up 50%

Japan's Nintendo Co said yesterday it posted a nearly 50 percent increase in net profit in the first half of this fiscal year thanks to its brisk sales of portable computer games. The strong earnings came as the portable machine leader prepares to challenge Sony Corp's dominance in home consoles, with Nintendo's next-generation Wii machine set to hit the market in December. Nintendo reported ?54.35 billion (US$455.29 million) in net profit, up 48.4 percent from a year earlier, in the April-September term. The Kyoto-based company expects net profit of ?100 billion on ?740 billion in revenue for the fiscal year ending next March.

■ Semiconductors

Hynix to upgrade lines

South Korea's Hynix Semiconductor said yesterday it would invest 716 billion won (US$750 million) to upgrade production lines after reporting solid third-quarter results. The world's second-largest computer memory chipmaker said that with the Icheon project, southeast of Seoul, it will have invested 2.3 trillion won in the country this year. It said that third-quarter net profit came to 390 billion won, down 26 percent from a year earlier but up 17 percent from the second quarter. Sales rose 23 percent to 1.97 trillion won from a year earlier on strong demand.

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