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Fri, Jun 22, 2007 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

■ ELECTRONICS

Best Buy expanding in PRC

US electronics retailer Best Buy Co plans to expand more rapidly in China by opening eight to 10 stores there in the next year and a half, the company said yesterday. "We have more opportunity and freedom to speed up the process," said Robert Willett, chief executive of Best Buy International, citing the success of the company's Shanghai store. He did not provide financial details. The company said in February it was planning to open two to three Best Buy stores in China in the next 12 to 18 months.

■ ELECTRONICS

iPhones to stream YouTube

Apple Inc announced on Wednesday that YouTube videos will stream directly to iPhones so that users of the soon-to-be-launched devices can watch video clips on the go. Apple said it tailored iPhone software to receive content from the popular video-sharing Web site and play it on the device's 3.5-inch (8.9cm) wide display. iPhones go on sale at US Apple and AT&T stores next Friday. AT&T is the exclusive service provider for the eagerly awaited devices. Apple also released an Apple TV software update that lets users of the boxes wirelessly route YouTube videos to their televisions.

■ INVESTMENT

Chinese prefer stocks

Shares and funds have replaced banks as the top investment option for people living in Chinese cities, thanks to the stock market boom and low savings deposits interest rates, the central bank said. A record 40.2 percent of respondents in the latest quarterly survey by the bank ticked buying stocks and funds as the most lucrative way to investment. The figure was up 9.9 percentage points from the first quarter, according to the survey, which covered 20,000 residents in 50 cities and was posted on the bank's Web site on Wednesday.

■ EQUITIES

SGX wants foreign firms

Singapore Exchange Ltd (SGX), which operates the local stock market, aims to have more than half of its listings be foreign firms by 2012, a top executive said in remarks published yesterday. The push to have more foreign firms listed -- principally from China and Southeast Asia -- is aimed at boosting the city-state as a regional financial center, SGX head of listing Lawrence Wong told the Financial Times. SGX aims to attract firms with a market capitalization of up to S$3 billion (US$1.95 billion) to list on the exchange. Aside from China, Southeast Asia's fast growing economies such as Vietnam and Indonesia are also targeted by SGX, Wong said.

■ TAXATION

Public stake sale mulled

The Philippines plans to increase tax collection and is ready to fill revenue gaps with proceeds from the sale of government stakes in major companies, the finance secretary said yesterday. Margarito Teves spoke a day after Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo asked the head of the Bureau of Internal Revenue to resign over a five-month budget deficit blamed on poor collection. Commissioner Jose Bunag quit on Wednesday and said he declined Arroyo's offer to be an ambassador overseas. He complained he was made a scapegoat by what he called unrealistic targets set by the finance department. The January to May budget gap of 41.8 billion pesos (US$908 million) rekindled concerns over the 63-billion-peso deficit ceiling this year.

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