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Tue, Jan 09, 2007 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Electronics
LG unveils new DVD player

LG Electronics Inc, South Korea's second-largest electronics maker, said it developed the first DVD player that can read content in both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats. LG Electronics will begin selling its Super Multi Blue Player in the US during the first quarter, the Seoul-based company said in a statement yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The model has been priced at US$1,199, LG said. Sony Corp and Toshiba Corp are fighting to set the industry standard for the next generation of DVD players, which can pack more data and offer better picture quality than current DVDs.

■ Markets

NASDAQ makes prediction

The value of shares in the London Stock Exchange (LSE) would probably fall sharply if shareholders rejected a hostile takeover bid from the US market NASDAQ, the US stock exchange operator said yesterday. "LSE shares would be worth far less without NASDAQ and a lapsing of the final offers is likely to precipitate a substantial fall in the share price," NASDAQ said in a statement. Last month, the London Stock Exchange recommended to its shareholders that they reject the offer worth £2.9 billion (US$5.5 billion), having described NASDAQ's bid as "wholly inadequate."

■ Energy

Origin mulls merger offer

Origin Energy Ltd said yesterday it was considering a A$13.6 billion (US$10.5 billion) merger proposal put forward by Australia's biggest gas and electricity retailer, AGL Energy Ltd, but had not entered into talks. Last week, AGL revealed it had made a preliminary approach to Origin, a natural gas and electricity provider, proposing a stock-based merger that would not offer a premium for Origin shares. In response to a query from the Australian Stock Exchange over its recent price movements, Sydney-based Origin said yesterday it was "undertaking an evaluation of the proposal and has not entered into any discussions" with AGL, also based in Sydney.

■ Cellphones

Nokia releases sales figures

Nokia Corp sold 40 million smart phones last year and more than 850 million people worldwide now use its mobile handsets, the Finnish company said yesterday. CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said that last year 90 million smart phones -- also known as "converged devices" that include cameras and enable fast access to the Internet and downloads of music and videos -- were sold worldwide. Kallasvuo said at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, that he expects the market for smart phones to hit 250 million by next year.

■ Aviation

Trans-Pacific route still off

Australia again ruled out opening up Qantas' coveted trans-Pacific route yesterday, quashing rumors that rival carriers might gain access once the "Flying Kangaroo" is taken over by a private equity group. Transport Minister Mark Vaile said the flag-carrier's lucrative Sydney to Los Angeles route would remain off-limits for several years to airlines other than Qantas and Australian discount flyer Virgin Blue. "It would be a number of years before we revisit that," Vaile told the Australian newspaper. His comments followed speculation Canberra may revise its decision made in February last year to bar rival carriers from the route.

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