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Tue, Apr 24, 2007 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ ECONOMICS

US women still earn less

US women make only 80 percent of the salaries their male peers do one year after college; after 10 years in the work force, the gap between their pay widens further, according to a study released yesterday. The study, by the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation, found that 10 years after college, women earn only 69 percent of what men earn. Even after controlling for hours, occupation, parenthood, and other factors known to affect earnings, the study found that one-quarter of the pay gap remains unexplained.

■ PHARMACEUTICALS

AstraZeneca to buy US firm

Anglo-Swedish giant AstraZeneca said yesterday it has agreed to buy US biotechnology company MedImmune for US$15.6 billion in total. "AstraZeneca today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire MedImmune Inc in an all-cash transaction," the group said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange. "Under the terms of the agreement, which has unanimous MedImmune Board support, AstraZeneca will acquire all of the ... shares of MedImmune common stock at a price of US$58 per share, for a total consideration of approximately US$15.6 billion."

■ AVIATION

BA may join bid for Iberia

British Airways PLC said yesterday it has contacted private equity investors about joining in a possible bid for Iberia SA, the Spanish airline. Iberia announced last month that it had been approached about a possible takeover offer worth more than 3.4 billion euros (US$4.6 billion) from US private equity firm TPG Capital LLP, formerly known as the Texas Pacific Group. Spain's flagship airline said TPG was studying the possibility of making a cash bid of 3.6 euros per share for the company and has requested more detailed information on its finances.

■ TRADE

Seoul resumes US imports

South Korea yesterday resumed imports of US beef three weeks after the two countries sealed a landmark free-trade pact, officials said. "US beef totaling 4.5 tons [4 tonnes] arrived in South Korea today, awaiting inspection at Incheon airport," an agriculture ministry official said on condition of anonymity. South Korea, once the third-largest market for US beef, last year lifted a three-year ban imposed to keep out mad-cow disease and agreed to accept shipments of boneless meat. But inspectors blocked all three shipments totalling 20 tonnes sent between October and December after finding tiny bone fragments in them.

■ PROPERTY

Singapore REITs growing

Singapore's real estate investment trust (REIT) market has become the biggest in the Asia-Pacific region outside Japan, Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang (林勳強) said yesterday. Since the first REIT listing in 2002, Singapore now has 16 listed REITs with a total market capitalization of S$26 billion (US$17.22 billion), he said in a speech to a property conference. This makes it "the largest REIT market in Asia outside of Japan," he said, without giving a size of the Japanese market. "Singapore REITs offer investors access to a diversity of real estate assets including retail malls, office buildings, industrial properties and serviced apartments," Lim said.

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