Lone Star loses appeal
US buyout firm Lone Star Funds lost a tax appeal over the 2004 sale of a building in South Korea. The National Tax Tribunal rejected Lone Star's appeal in three cases totaling 101.7 billion won (US$110 million) in taxes linked to the sale of Star Tower, South Korea's finance ministry said in a statement yesterday. "According to tax treaties between [South] Korea and the US, it is possible to tax Lone Star's capital gains in real estate and equity transactions because it happened in [South] Korea," the ministry said in the statement. Lone Star "is disappointed in this decision and will appeal it to the [South] Korean courts," it said yesterday.
BlackBerry coming to China
Research in Motion (RIM) has received clearance to sell its popular BlackBerry device in China after eight years of trying. The Canadian-based company said it was finalizing the delivery of its products there. RIM co-chief executive Jim Balsillie, speaking on a conference call with analysts last week, said the company was planning to serve corporate customers in key Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. A manager in RIM's Beijing office was quoted in the Globe and Mail newspaper on Wednesday as saying RIM expected to start selling its 8700g handset in Chinese shops at the end of next month and has already received 5,000 advance orders.
`Old Lady' raises UK rates
The Bank of England lifted official interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point to 5.75 percent yesterday, the fifth increase in less than a year. British interest rates are now at a six-year high as the bank struggles to contain rising prices and a booming housing market. The bank's monetary policy committee said that it determined an increase was necessary because "the balance of risks to the outlook for inflation in the medium term continued to lie to the upside." The announcement gave the pound another push, lifting it to US$2.0190 in afternoon trading.
DLF surged on debut trade
Shares of top real-estate firm DLF, which raised US$2.24 billion in India's biggest ever public share offering, leapt nearly 36 percent on their first day of trading yesterday before retreating. DLF opened at 582 rupees (US$14.36) on the Bombay Stock Exchange and climbed to a day's high of 714.25 rupees before sliding 23.3 percent or 166.75 rupees on profit-taking to 547.5 rupees. DLF sold 175 million shares at a price of 525 rupees a share on strong fund demand, with the offer oversubscribed 3.47 times.
Power consumption surges
China may not achieve its much-trumpeted five-year goal on improving energy efficiency because of runaway economic growth, the nation's top planning officials said in comments published yesterday. "The trend of overheated economic development has not been contained," Beijing News quoted Ma Kai (馬凱), China's top economic planner, as saying on Wednesday. Ma pointed to previously released data showing that industrial output increased 18.1 percent in the first five months of the year, which he said was the highest in recent years. Ma also said that energy consumption nationwide grew 15.8 percent during the first five months of the year, the highest in three years.