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World Business Quick Take



London taxi debuts in China

London's famous black cab broke new ground yesterday with its debut appearance in China. The cabs, which have plied the streets of the British capital since 1948, took a bow at the auto show in Shanghai, where a new joint venture is aiming to produce 20,000 of the vehicles every year. A gold-painted version of the London icon was put on display to promote the new venture between Chinese carmaker Geely and Britain's Manganese Bronze Holdings, original maker of the car. Geely plans to formally produce models of the cab in a new facility in Shanghai starting next year.


PC sales rise in Asia-Pacific

Personal computer sales in the Asia-Pacific region outside Japan totalled 12.7 million units in the first quarter, up 18 percent from a year earlier, a research house said on Friday. Sales slowed 2 percent, however, from the final quarter last year due to the February Lunar New Year holidays in most of the region, International Data Corp (IDC) said. In the first quarter, Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) was the top seller with 17.8 percent of market share, followed by Hewlett-Packard Co, with a 15.4 percent market share, and Dell Inc, which accounted for 8.1 percent. Acer Inc was in fourth spot with 6.5 percent and Founder Group (方正集團) ranked fifth at 5.6 percent.


Strike hits Peruvian mine

Newmont Mining Corp said a strike in Peru by union members at the Minera Yanacocha mine, the world's largest, may not reduce production because more than half the employees will continue working. Recent protests organized by the union attracted about 200 of the 3,000 employees at the mine, Denver-based Newmont spokesman Omar Jabara said Saturday in an interview. The union broke off talks with the company on Friday after rejecting a wage offer. A walkout by the union members at Yanacocha ``would not reduce production unless striking employees engaged in blockage of roads or property destruction,'' Jabara said. Newmont is Peru's biggest gold producer and export earner.


Time limit for Qantas offer

The Macquarie Bank Ltd-led buyout group bidding for Qantas Airways Ltd said it won't extend its A$11.1 billion (US$9.3 billion) offer beyond May 4. The group, offering A$5.45 a share in cash, saw shareholder acceptances fall to 27.48 percent last week from 30.06 percent previously. Today the group said it will speed payments to shareholders accepting the offer. "Now is the time for those supportive shareholders to accept," Bob Mansfield, a spokesman for the group, said in a statement e-mailed to Bloomberg News. "If the bid fails the share price will almost certainly fall." Macquarie's bidding partners are TPG Inc, Allco Finance Group, Allco Equity Partners and Onex Corp.


AirAsia X picks Airbus

Malaysia's long-haul budget carrier AirAsia X has selected Airbus over Boeing for 15 new passenger aircraft, an executive familiar with the deal said yesterday. "AirAsia X decided to pick the A330-300 because Airbus came with a better commercial deal and the delivery of the aircraft will be faster," he said on condition of anonymity. He said the official announcement would come today.

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