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Mon, Nov 27, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Automobiles
Nissan to sell electric cars

Japanese auto manufacturer Nissan Motor plans to sell electric cars in three years in a bid to catch up with its rivals in the market for environmentally friendly vehicles, a news report said yesterday. The lightweight, subcompact electric model will be powered by lithium-ion batteries developed in-house, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said, without citing sources. Electric cars are unable to travel long distances between charges, but Nissan is set to develop new technology allowing distances of about 200km on a single charge. Mitsubishi Motors and Fuji Heavy Industries currently lead the development of electric cars. Nissan's participation will intensify the race, Nihon Keizai said.

■ ASEAN

Single market set for 2015

Southeast Asian leaders are to advance to 2015 the target date for integrating the region's vast economies into a single EU-style market, a draft declaration obtained by Agence France Presse showed. The declaration is expected to be signed by ASEAN leaders when they meet for an annual summit next month in Mactan, Philippines. ASEAN is also negotiating separately for free-trade agreements with China, Japan and South Korea, hoping this will become a catalyst for a wider East Asian free trade zone.

■ Gold

Aussie output slightly down

Australia's gold production fell 3.1 percent in the third quarter as miners processed lower-grade ore amid higher prices for the metal, said Surbiton Associates Pty, a research company. Gold output fell to 62 tonnes in the three months ended Sept. 30, from 64 tonnes in the year-earlier quarter, Melbourne-based Surbiton said yesterday in a statement. Production for the first nine months of the year fell 7 percent to 183 tonnes. Australian gold prices were A$821 (US$639) an ounce in the quarter, about A$240 more than the average in the same quarter last year. Australia produces about a 10th of global output.

■ Telecoms

TIM denies deal with Claro

Telecom Italia's TIM mobile operations denied a report that it was being bought out by a Brazilian company. The Brazilian daily O Globo reported on Saturday that wireless provider Claro, a unit of Latin American telecom giant America Movil, has agreed to buy TIM for 8 billion euros. Citing company and market sources, Globo said the agreement was reached on Friday, two weeks after Claro revised its offer for TIM. An industry source said that the deal was almost certain to go through and that the market expects an announcement next week. But in a brief statement issued late on Saturday, TIM said: "Today's news about the likely sale of TIM ... is groundless."

■ Oil

Fernandez seeks Saudi help

Dominican officials are pushing for Saudi Arabia to build an oil refinery in the Caribbean country, hoping to end chronic fuel shortages and take advantage of an impending US trade deal. President Leonel Fernandez hosted the Saudi Ambassador to the US Turki al-Faisal for an official lunch at the national palace on Friday, his office said in a statement. Al-Faisal and the president had discussed a possible refinery, which would supply the eastern US and the Dominican Republic, in a Washington meeting earlier this year, according to the statement, which did not provide further details about the project.

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