LNG producers mull cartel
The world's biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporting countries gather in Doha today to discuss proposals to form a cartel -- an idea that has consumer nations worried even if it does not appear imminent. The two-day Gas Exporting Countries Forum will be hosted by Qatar, which aspires to eventually become the world's top exporter of LNG. Founded in 2001, the forum is an informal structure grouping 15 countries which together control 72 percent of world reserves and 42 percent of production. The Doha meeting will focus mainly on the possibility of forming a cartel along the lines of the OPEC. The International Energy Agency warned in February that a gas cartel would reduce demand and hurt producers.
Gold expected to rise
Gold will climb to at least US$700 an ounce in the next two months, about 4 percent more than today, Fortis and Virtual Metals Research & Consulting wrote in their monthly metals report. The forecast is up from US$670 predicted last month, Brussels-based Fortis and London-based Virtual Metals said on Thursday in the e-mailed report. Gold has gained since February because the US might begin cutting interest rates in the third quarter, the report said. Lower interest rates may hurt the US dollar and spur investor demand for alternatives such as gold. The one-month forecast for gold was raised to a range of US$680 and US$630, from US$670 and US$600, the report said.
G4 to meet in New Dehli
India and other key trading powers will meet in New Dehli this week for potentially make-or-break talks to end a deadlock in the Doha Round of global trade negotiations. Officials from the G4 group of influential trading players -- the EU, the US, Brazil and India -- will strive to reach a common position on agriculture, industrial goods and services during the two-day meeting which starts Wednesday. "These talks are timely and important," EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said in Brussels. "If we fail [at these talks], Doha's prospects for this year will be lost."
Executives oppose merger
Pentax Corp, a Japanese camera maker, said some of its executives opposed a merger agreement with Hoya Corp on Wednesday, two days before Hoya announced it would raise its takeover bid."At a meeting on April 4, some board members proposed that the company terminate the merger plan, and on April 3 there was a motion that the president should resign," Jiro Okamura, a spokesman at Pentax, said yesterday. "Neither proposal was approved." The Nikkei Shimbun reported yesterday that Pentax chief executive Fumio Urano intended to resign after six executives proposed to scrap the Dec. 21 merger agreement with Hoya. Hoya announced on Friday it might offer about ¥770 (US$6.49) a share to Pentax shareholders, valuing Pentax at ¥98.5 billion.
Lucky, Flo find more DVDs
Anti-piracy dogs Lucky and Flo have sniffed out 12,000 more counterfeit DVDs in northern Malaysia that led to the arrest of one person, officials and reports said yesterday. The Los Angeles-based Motion Picture Association said that Lucky and Flo sniffed out two locations on Saturday where Malaysian officials found illegal DVDs.