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Fri, Feb 09, 2007 - Page 10 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Telcos

SingTel eyes Vietnam

Singapore Telecommuni-cations Ltd said yesterday it wants to invest in Vietnam's telecom sector. "Vietnam is in our area of interest," SingTel deputy CEO Chua Sock-koong (蔡淑君) told a news conference. The Hanoi government has been considering liberalizing the country's telecommuni-cations sector for some time but no decisions have been made. "The timing [of the liberalization] is entirely up to the Vietnamese government," said Chua, who is due to take over from Lee Hsien-yang (李顯揚) as chief executive in April. She added that SingTel would like to increase its 30.5 percent stake in India's Bharti Airtel Ltd.

■ Internet

Cockfighting mags will stay

Amazon.com says it will keep selling two magazines about cockfighting, despite plans by the Humane Society of the US to file a lawsuit yesterday accusing the company of operating an illegal "animal-fighting paraphernalia sale and distribution scheme." The on-line retailer said, however, that it would again remove videos that depict dogfights, months after the issue was originally raised by Humane Society officials. The Humane Society said it would file the lawsuit yesterday morning in District of Columbia Superior Court.

■ Computers

Dell selling other brands

Dell Inc on Wednesday began selling flat-panel televisions from rival electronics manufacturer Sony Corp and said it would soon offer products from a variety of companies as it tweaks its consumer business strategy. A visit to Dell's Web site showed two Sony Bravia LCD televisions -- a 40-inch and a 46-inch model -- on sale alongside TVs made by the Round Rock, Texas, company. In a statement, Dell said it would continue to offer Dell-branded televisions from 37 inches and below, but would soon offer "a wide assortment of televisions from leading manufacturers that feature the latest technology and meet Dell's high standards for performance."

■ Trade

Malaysia drops FTA topics

Malaysia said yesterday that intractable "no-go" areas could be dropped from free trade talks with the US as Washington races to strike a deal before a March deadline. Malaysian Trade Minister Rafidah Aziz said she and her counterpart, US Trade Representative Susan Schwab, decided during a phone conversation on Wednesday to list areas where talks had broken down to see if any progress could be made. Difficult areas included Malaysian government procurement, where the US is seeking priority treatment in the awarding of international tenders for expensive government projects.

■ Forex reserves

Seoul to invest in blue chips

South Korea is considering investing part of its massive foreign reserves in overseas blue-chip stocks in an attempt to increase investment returns, the central bank chief said yesterday. The reserves totaled US$240.23 billion as of the end of last month, the world's fifth largest after China, Japan, Russia and Taiwan. Most were invested in US Treasuries and other foreign state bonds. "We are considering managing foreign reserves through overseas investment banks," Bank of Korea Governor Lee Seong-tae said. "One possible option is to invest them in blue-chip stocks in advanced nations," he said.

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