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Sat, Jun 16, 2007 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ ECONOMY

Japanese rates unchanged

The Bank of Japan decided yesterday to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.5 percent, a move that had been widely expected in the market. The central bank's decision at the end of a two-day meeting was unanimous, it said in a statement. The bank also maintained its upbeat assessment of the economy in a monthly report, saying that production, exports and consumer spending are improving, keeping the economy on track for moderate expansion. The bank last changed the benchmark interest rate in February, doubling it from 0.25 percent.

■ ELECTRONICS

Samsung opens US fab

South Korea's Samsung Electronics said yesterday it has opened a giant plant at Austin, Texas, to supply US customers with the most advanced memory chips used for various mobile devices. The plant, as large as nine football fields, will produce 12-inch wafers whose yields are 2.4 times greater than less advanced eight-inch wafers. The US$3.5 billion facility will produce 60,000 such wafers every month. The new plant will manufacture NAND flash memory chips, which are widely used in a host of products including MP3 players, mobile phones and digital cameras.

■ AUTOMOBILES

Nanjing to revive the Healey

China's Nanjing Auto (南京汽車) said yesterday it would revive the Austin Healey and Healey cars after decades off the road, as part of the deal that saw it buy part of Britain's defunct MG Rover Group. Nanjing Auto signed agreements on Tuesday with Healey Automobile Consultants, which had been responsible for the brands, to formally take control of them, Nanjing MG Automotive Company spokesman Lu Qiang said. Nanjing Auto, China's oldest car maker, bought the rights to develop the historic cars from the bankrupt MG Rover Group, once makers of the iconic Mini and Jaguar, in July 2005. The first Chinese made MGs came off the assembly line in March.

■ INTERNET

Browser copies hit a million

Apple Inc said on Thursday that users have downloaded more than 1 million copies of the Windows version of its Safari Internet browser in the first 48 hours it was available. The computer and consumer electronics company launched the Web browser on Monday, setting off another layer of competition with its archrival, Microsoft Corp. Safari had about 5 percent of the market share for Internet browsers with more than 18 million users when it was previously available only for Macintosh computers, according to Apple. Several researchers wasted no time in pointing out security vulnerabilities they found in the Windows version of Safari, and Apple issued an update to the browser on Thursday to fix those bugs.

■ HEALTHCARE

Firm says paste now safe

A Chinese firm accused of manufacturing tainted toothpaste said it has stopped using a chemical found in antifreeze, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday amid a row about the safety of Chinese products. Shanghai White Cat Shareholding Co Ltd, maker of "MAXAM" toothpaste, said in a statement the company stopped using diethylene glycol in all products on May 21. The statement said the chemical, a thickening agent used in antifreeze, was commonly used in toothpaste.

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