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Fri, Nov 10, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Computers
Lenovo sees profit tumble

Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想), the world's No. 3 maker of personal computers, said yesterday its fiscal first-half net profit tumbled 53 percent compared with the same period last year. Net profit for the six months ended Sept. 30 totaled US$43.1 million, down from US$91.2 million, the firm said in a brief statement to Hong Kong's stock exchange. The company didn't elaborate on the loss, but it planned to hold a news conference later yesterday. Lenovo, which took over IBM Corp's PC division in April last year, said its first-half revenue rose to US$7.18 billion from US$6.17 billion.

■ Automobiles

Nissan ends Suzuki talks

Nissan Motor said yesterday it had ended talks with Japan's top mini-vehicle maker Suzuki Motor Corp about building a new factory in India. The announcement came after Nissan's French partner Renault said it had agreed with Indian automaker Mahindra to build a joint assembly plant in India to produce the Logan, a budget compact family saloon. "Nissan is in active discussions with Renault and Mahindra concerning a new industrial partnership and will make a final decision within four months. In consequence, we will not continue our discussions with Suzuki concerning a new industrial project in India," the automaker said.

■ Banking

Chinese bank plans IPO

Bank of Communications Ltd, China's fifth-largest lender by assets, plans to raise nearly 20 billion yuan (US$2.54 billion) in a Shanghai initial public offering in the first half of next year, a newspaper reported yesterday. The bank -- which became the first Chinese bank to list Hong Kong last June -- has hired CITIC Securities, China Galaxy Securities, Haitong Securities and Goldman Sachs Gao Hua Securities to underwrite its domestic share sale, the South China Morning Post reported. The four brokers won the mandate last month and are drawing up the listing documents, the report said.

■ Entertainment

Warner to leave China

Warner Brothers Inter-national Cinemas, a subsidiary of the giant US media company Time Warner, is pulling out of China because of regulatory changes, a spokesman said yesterday. "The decision is made solely due to a new Chinese rule issued in 2005 which bars foreign investors from owning majority stakes in joint ventures," said Gao Ming, a director with the company's public agency. A rule in 2003 had opened seven cities to majority foreign investment of up to 75 percent on a trial basis. "The company finally made the decision at the end of September after looking at all possible solutions," Gao said.

■ Economy

BoE hikes interest rates

The Bank of England (BoE) raised interest rates on yesterday by a quarter-point to 5 percent, their highest level in five years, in order to restrain building inflationary pressures. Policymakers are worried that inflation is already above the central bank's 2 percent target and could encourage workers to demand bigger wage rises in the New Year pay round. Britain's housing market is also showing no sign of being tamed by August's quarter-point rise. Prices rose by another 1.7 percent last month, according to the UK's largest mortgage lender. But economists are divided over whether the bank will have to raise interest rates again early next year..

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