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Sat, Jun 02, 2007 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Currencies

China wants more euros

China wants the euro to make up a larger share of its US$1.2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, state media said yesterday, citing a central bank deputy governor. The move is motivated by the stability of the euro and the strong growth in the European economy, Wu Xiaoling (吳曉靈) said. However, the central bank does not plan to reduce the ratio of the US dollar in its forex reserves, she said, speaking at an economic forum in Brussels.

■ Aviation

Northwest shares climb

Northwest Airlines' shares flew higher on Wall Street on Thursday as the carrier emerged from bankruptcy protection after a 20-month reorganization. Shares traded under the symbol NWA rose 2.65 percent to close at US$25.15 as Northwest exited Chapter 11 court supervision. The action turns a page for the industry, which saw four of the top six carriers in bankruptcy when Northwest and Delta filed for creditor protection in September 2005. Northwest is the last of the four to emerge from bankruptcy. After ringing the opening bell on Wall Street, Northwest chief executive Doug Steenland made the first buy of new NWA common stock.

■ Automobiles

Proton partner sought

Malaysia's government will seek new partners for national carmaker Proton and aims to seal an alliance within three months, a Cabinet minister said yesterday. Germany's Volkswagen AG no longer has an interest in an alliance with Proton, Malaysian Second Finance Minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop said. He denied Volkswagen's withdrawal was due to the government's refusal to surrender a controlling stake in Proton. It was the second time talks with Volkswagen were aborted. The government, which holds a 43 percent stake in Proton through its investment arm Khazanah Nasional, will accelerate its search for a partner to turnaround the money-losing carmaker, Mohamed said.

■ Fashion

Hello Kitty, Barbie join up

Hello Kitty will join the ranks of the world's top fashion houses as she dresses up Barbie, bringing together the Japanese and US icons in a limited-edition doll. Barbie will appear in an outfit chosen by Japan's feline sensation, the Japanese toymaker Sanrio said yesterday. The 31cm Barbie doll's jacket, belt, bag and necklace will all bear the famous Hello Kitty image. Hello Kitty Barbie will make her world debut in September and will be released in more than 10 nations including the dolls' home countries of the US and Japan.

■ Media

Packer to yield PBL control

Australia's richest man is handing control of his family company's once-core media business to private equity group CVC Asia Pacific and increasing his focus on casino operations. Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd (PBL), inherited by James Packer from his mogul father Kerry in late 2005, announced yesterday it has agreed to sell another 25 percent stake in its PBL Media joint venture to CVC for A$515 million (US$427 million). The company said the sale reduces its stake in PBL Media to 25 percent, with CVC taking the rest. The sale was part of a broader reallocation of capital within the Sydney based company, Packer said.

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