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Wed, Feb 07, 2007 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Aviation
Don Muang to reopen

Thailand agreed yesterday to reopen Bangkok's Don Muang airport for interna-tional and domestic flights amid growing problems at the new Suvarnabhumi Airport. "We need to time to make repairs and improve-ments at Suvarnabhumi airport because of the many flaws," Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont told reporters after a Cabinet meeting. "Today the Cabinet has agreed to reopen Don Muang as an international airport." The move, which still needs final approval, means that international flights would be divided between the two airports. A government-appointed committee will submit a detailed plan for reopening Don Muang to the Cabinet in two weeks, after which Don Muang could be reopened in 45 days, Transport Minister Thira Hao-Charoen said.

■ Computers

IBM selling Lenovo shares

US computer giant IBM Corp yesterday planned to sell a substantial part of its stake in China's Lenovo (聯想), the world's third-largest personal computer group, to raise up to HK$990 million (US$127 million). According to a term-sheet sent to institutional investors, the sale price of the 300 million shares on offer will be HK$3.20 to HK$3.30 each, a 4.07-6.98 percent discount to the stock's closing price of HK$3.44 on Monday. The deal accounts for 3.5 percent of Lenovo Group's total issued share capital. After the share sale, IBM's shareholding in Lenovo will be reduced to 11.5 percent from 15 percent. Lenovo also requested a suspension of trade in it shares yesterday pending an announcement of "price-sensitive information" relating to the placing of its shares by a substantial shareholder, a statement posted on the Hong Kong stock exchange showed.

■ Automobiles

Toyota reports profit jump

Toyota yesterday reported a 7.3 percent jump in quarterly profit on booming sales in North America and Europe that offset sluggish demand in Japan. Toyota Motor Corp recorded group net profit of ¥426.8 billion (US$3.6 billion) in the three months ended Dec. 31, up from ¥397.6 billion in the same period the previous year. Quarterly sales climbed 15.2 percent to ¥6.15 trillion from ¥5.33 trillion a year ago, as the remodeled RAV 4 sport utility vehicle and Camry mid-sized sedan sold briskly in North America and demand was strong for the Yaris compact in Europe, Toyota said in a release.

■ Automobiles

Layoffs at DaimlerChrysler

DaimlerChrysler plans to slash 10,000 factory jobs in the US as part of a sweeping cost-cutting plan for its struggling Chrysler Group, the Detroit News reported on Monday. Citing a plan expected to be unveiled next Wednesday, the News said the German-US auto group also plans to implement "unprecedented" collabora-tion between the mass-market Chrysler and luxury Mercedes groups.

■ Securities

State Street to buy Investors

State Street Corp said on Monday that it would buy Investors Financial Services Corp in a US$4.5 billion stock deal that highlights the accelerating pace of consoli-dation in the securities processing business. The deal has been approved by the boards of the two rivals, both based in Boston. State Street is offering 0.906 shares of its stock for each share of Investors Financial Services common stock, based on last Friday's closing share price. That places the value of the deal at just less than US$4.5 billion.

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