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Fri, Apr 13, 2007 - Page 10 News List

World Business Briefs

AGENCIES

■ COURIERS

UPS inks Shanghai deal

International courier UPS signed an agreement yesterday finalizing construction of a transport hub in the eastern city of Shanghai, linking China to its global network. The hub, to open next year, will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, allowing for later pickup times in Shanghai, the company said. Sorters will handle 17,000 packages an hour by 2012 with employment at the hub expected to exceed 1,000 people by 2010, it said.

■ ENTERTAINMENT

MGM joins iTunes

MGM has become the latest major film studio to offer downloadable movies on Apple's iTunes Store. The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc deal, announced on Wednesday, builds the iTunes catalog to more than 500 movies. Apple's online store, the world's most popular online movie store, began offering movie downloads in September. The California-based company launched the feature with films from Walt Disney Co studios, where Apple Inc's CEO Steve Jobs is the largest shareholder, but it has since signed deals with other studios, including Paramount Pictures.

■ RESERVES

PRC reserves soaring

China's foreign exchange reserves, already the world's largest, surpassed US$1.2 trillion at the end of last month, the central bank said yesterday. At US$1.202 trillion, the reserves were up 12.7 percent from the beginning of the year, and 37.4 percent from 12 months earlier, the People's Bank of China said in a statement on its Web site. The trade surplus, one main source of the bulging reserves, stood at US$46.6 billion in the first three months, while foreign direct investment, another main source, reached US$15.9 billion, data released earlier showed. The two figures added together, US$62.5 billion, were well below the increase of US$135.7 billion in reserves in the first three months of the year. The bank gave no explanation for the disparity.

■ TELECOMS

Strikes hit German telecom

Around 8,000 Deutsche Telekom employees were expected to strike yesterday in protest of the telecommunication giant's plans to transfer 50,000 staff into legally separate service companies with less favorable working conditions. The giant services sector union Ver.di said that about 8,000 workers around the country were expected to stage warning strikes as employee representatives and management met for a third round of talks on Deutsche Telekom's cost-cutting plans. Around 1,000 Deutsche Telekom employees had already staged walk-outs at six sites on Wednesday.

■ SOFTWARE

Microsoft lawsuit continues

A legal battle between Microsoft and Japanese anti-monopoly authorities is likely to conclude next year and might lead to lawsuits or other patent infringement complaints against the US software company, an executive said yesterday. Any such action will likely happen only in Japan, Microsoft Corp senior vice president Brad Smith said. Japan's Fair Trade Commission and Microsoft have been wrangling since 2004 over a controversial clause in licensing agreements. The clause prevents firms from suing Microsoft if they suspect their own software technology has ended up in the Windows operating system.

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