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Wed, Jun 20, 2007 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ TAKEOVERS

BHP mum on bid rumors

Fresh rumors that BHP Billiton Ltd was preparing a takeover bid for either aluminum producer Alcoa or its rival Alcan had little impact on Australia's stock market yesterday, as some analysts doused the idea with cold water. BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, declined to comment on media reports citing unnamed sources that it was reviving plans for a US$40 billion offer for Alcoa and that it had hired investment bank Merrill Lynch to advise it on a possible bid for Alcan. BHP shares dipped in early trade, then rose 0.69 percent to A$34.92 (US$24.95) on the news.

■ ENERGY

Temasek to sell companies

Singapore's state-owned investment company Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd said yesterday it will sell three Singapore power generation companies over the next 12 to 18 months. Potential buyers have been showing interest since last year in PowerSeraya Ltd, Senoko Power Ltd and Tuas Power Ltd, Temasek said in a statement. Temasak wholly owns the three companies, which supply about 90 percent of Singapore's power and have a combined generating capacity of 9,070 megawatts. Temasek said it expects the sale to be completed by end of next year or in early 2009.

■ TRADE

Seoul wants talks on FTA

South Korea said yesterday it will hold talks with the US this week to discuss possible revisions for a free trade agreement after a US call for changes. Last week, the US formally proposed making changes to the trade pact to reflect its new guidelines that call for stricter labor and environment standards. The US proposal called for changes in seven sectors -- including labor and environment -- of the deal, which was reached in April and awaits legislative approval in both countries. South Korea will hold discussions on the matter when a US delegation visits Seoul tomorrow and Friday.

■ AUTOMOBILES

Automakers to cooperate

Vehicle makers DaimlerChrysler AG and Fiat SpA said yesterday they signed an agreement calling for strategic cooperation to provide the German-US automaker's truck group with engine and powertrain technology from Italy. "The first step of this agreement concerns the long-term supply of light-duty diesel engines ... to the Mitsubishi Fuso Bus & Truck Corporation, to be used in the Canter light commercial vehicle which will be marketed in major markets, including Europe and Japan," the two companies said in a joint statement. Under the agreement, Turin-based Fiat will supply some 80,000 engines to DaimlerChrysler's Mitsubishi Fuso unit starting in 2009, with the number rising as needed.

■ ELECTRONICS

Philips eyes LED maker

Royal Philips Electronics NV said yesterday it will offer US$34 per share for US lighting company Color Kinetics Inc, in a management-supported bid that values the company at 516 million euros (US$688 million). The offer is a 14 percent premium to Color Kinetic's closing price on Monday of US$29.79. Boston, Massachusetts-based Color Kinetics is a maker of light emitting diode (LED) lighting systems, with sales of US$65 million last year. Philips said Color Kinetics also holds "important patents relating to intelligence and control technology for LED lighting."

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