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Fri, Nov 03, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Manufacturing
Rolls Royce doing fine

The chief of British aircraft engine maker Rolls Royce PLC said yesterday that the company's earnings outlook would not be hurt by its recent suspension of production of engines for the Airbus A380. "We make deliveries to Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Gulfstream, Embraer, Cessna and a whole range of other companies. This represents a relatively small proportion of our turnover," chief executive John Rose told reporters during a visit to Malaysia. He said the firm's deliveries for the next two years are "completely unaffected by the orders in the shorter term."

■ Internet

Google offers Korean e-mail

Google Inc launched a Korean-language version of its free e-mail service yesterday in an effort to strengthen its presence in South Korea. The launch of Google's Korean-language Gmail service came a month after it announced a US$10 million investment in a planned research center in the country. Google started its Korean-language search site in 2000 and began offering its English-language Gmail service two years ago in South Korea, where many Internet users have preferred local free e-mail services. Local search engine Naver controls more than 60 percent of South Korea's search traffic.

■ Environment

`New Kyoto' wanted

After repeatedly blocking domestic carbon trading, Australia said yesterday it would now push for Asia-wide emissions trading to combat global warming as part of a planned "new-Kyoto" pact. The turn-around comes as an opinion poll showed most Australians believe Canberra should sign Kyoto. Environment Minister Ian Campbell told Australian Broadcasting Corp radio that Canberra wanted to forge a "New Kyoto" out of a six-nation alliance of the world's biggest polluters -- China, India, the US, Australia, South Korea and Japan. Australia, which has failed to ratify Kyoto Protocol, is already feeling the brunt of global warming with the worst drought in 100 years eating into economic growth.

■ Automobiles

Hyundai faces probe

South Korea's fair trade watchdog is investigating the Hyundai Motor group on suspicion of unfair trading, company officials said yesterday. "Hyundai Motor and some of its subsidiaries are being investigated by the Fair Trade Commission for suspected unfair trading inside the group," a group spokesman said. "The investigation started around Sept. 11 and is expected to last until Friday." The spokesman said Hyundai Motor and its affiliates including Hyundai Card, Hyundai Glovis and Hyundai Capital were the target of the investigation. Hyundai Glovis is the group's auto shipping unit and Hyundai Capital provides consumers with loans to buy cars.

■ Telecoms

Alfa Group eyes Vodafone

Russian conglomerate Alfa Group is seeking to buy 20 percent of British mobile phone giant Vodafone, valued at about £15 billion (US$28.6 billion), the Times said yesterday. Alfa's telecoms arm, Altimo, has targeted Vodafone with a view to either a joint venture or a merger as it seeks to grow outside Russia, the newspaper said. "We are in negotiations with Vodafone, and with other large Euro-pean telecoms companies," it quoted Kirill Babaev, a vice-president of Altimo, as saying. But a Vodafone spokesman denied the report.

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