Risky batteries fakes: Sanyo
Sanyo Electric Co said the mobile phone batteries Chinese authorities say are at risk for explosion are counterfeits and were not made by it. Sanyo, the world's biggest maker of rechargeable batteries, conducted an internal investigation after Chinese authorities said three battery models used in handsets may explode. The faulty batteries were all counterfeits, it said. A Chinese man was killed in Gansu Province when the battery in his Motorola handset exploded, the Lanzhou Morning Post reported last week. Officials in Guangdong Province found four counterfeit battery models that might explode in their handsets.
Daewoo doubles target
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co, the world's third-largest shipyard, boosted its target for this year's orders to US$17 billion, a 55 percent increase from a previous projection. The shipbuilder met its earlier full-year target of US$11 billion after it recently won container-ship orders worth US$1.8 billion from two buyers in Europe, the Seoul-based company said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. "In the second half, we expect to continue receiving orders for higher-end products including container vessels and offshore platforms," company president Nam Sang-tae said in the statement.
Abe downplays tax hike
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the economy may be healthy enough to increase government revenue without needing an increase in the sales tax. "There is a good possibility that we can do without raising it," Abe said yesterday during a debate with Democratic Party of Japan leader Ichiro Ozawa on Fuji TV ahead of this month's election. "Before we decide whether to hike the consumption tax we must focus on thoroughly cutting government expenditures." Japan's US$6.8 trillion debt is the world's largest and 1.5 times its GDP. Abe reiterated that the government will start discussing whether to raise the tax in the autumn, after the Upper House elections on July 29.
■ SOUTH KOREA
Seoul raises export goals
The government has raised its export growth forecast for this year, prompted by a steady global economy and strong sales of mainstay products such as cars, LCDs, and semiconductors. The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said yesterday that exports will grow 12.8 percent this year from the previous year to US$367.25 billion, up from a January estimate of 10.4 percent growth. Exports rose 14.4 percent last year. Seoul lowered its trade surplus target to US$15 billion from US$17 billion because it expects domestic consumption to recover and international oil prices to rise. The nation racked up a trade surplus of US$16 billion last year.
Nissan sets China target
Nissan Motor Co plans to sell 300,000 cars in China this year, after introducing its Infiniti luxury brand. It may consider adding a production plant with local partner Dongfeng Motor Group Co (東風汽車) to expand capacity, Yukihisa Kayashima, head of Nissan (China) Investment Co, said in Shanghai yesterday. Luxury car sales rose twice as quickly as the overall market last year, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said.