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World Business Quick Take



Macquarie raises Alinta bid

Australia's Macquarie Bank yesterday fired a new salvo in its bidding war with rival investment bank Babcock and Brown for Alinta Ltd, confirming it has lodged a fresh A$7.6 billion (US$6.2 billion) offer for the energy company. Macquarie said its new bid, which matches the worth of Babcock and Brown's offer for Alinta, offers three options for shareholders in the Perth-based company, including an all-cash option, an all-share option or a combination of both. "Alinta shareholders will have absolute choice as to selection of which option they prefer," Macquarie said in a statement.


Hong Kong hits record high

Hong Kong share prices closed up 0.27 percent for another record close yesterday, led by gains in China-related firms, although share prices pulled back after breaking the 21,000 points level, dealers said. The market came off the day's highs as property shares saw some profit-taking in late trade after an early advance driven by expectations of strong bids at a government land auction today. The benchmark Hang Seng Index ended up at a new closing high of 20,896.64.


Thai junta to sue YouTube

Thailand's army-backed government plans to sue Internet video-sharing site YouTube over clips it deemed insulting to King Bhumibol Adulyadej, an official said yesterday. "We are considering taking legal action against the Web site," said Vissanu Meeyo, a government spokesman. Thailand plans to sue YouTube, owned by Google, over charges of lese majeste -- insulting the monarchy, a serious crime that carries up to 15 years in prison, the spokesman said. The government has continued to block YouTube since the first clip showing the king next to a photograph of feet, considered deeply offensive, appeared last month.


New Qantas bid mulled

Macquarie Bank Ltd and TPG Inc said they may resubmit an A$11.1 billion (US$9.1 billion) bid for Qantas Airways Ltd to keep the world's biggest airline takeover alive. The bidders might again offer A$5.45 a share in cash, Sydney-based Macquarie Bank said in a statement yesterday. The original bid lapsed after they failed to get the required 50 percent of acceptances until several hours after the deadline passed on Friday. Shares in Qantas, Australia's biggest airline, were suspended from trading today after closing at A$5.38 on Friday.


Dell in Suse Linux tie-up

Dell Inc has agreed to work with Microsoft Corp and Novell Inc under an alliance the rival software makers formed last year to make it easier for the Windows operating system and the increasingly popular Linux system to work together, the companies said on Sunday. Under the partnership announced in November, Microsoft said it would offer corporate customers a chance to license its Windows operating system as part of a package that includes maintenance and support for Novell's Suse Linux platform. On Sunday, Microsoft and Novell said Dell has agreed to buy Suse Linux Enterprise Server certificates from Microsoft and that the computer maker will set up a services and marketing program aimed at getting users of open-source platforms to switch to the new Suse Linux offering.

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