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Tue, Jul 17, 2007 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ AVIATION

Hong Kong airport busier

Hong Kong's international airport handled 5.7 percent more passengers last month than it did in the same month a year ago, with more passengers coming through from Europe and China, figures showed yesterday. Passenger traffic rose to 3.85 million from 3.64 million in June last year, the Airport Authority of Hong Kong said. Cargo volume also rose, increasing 5.3 percent to 305,000 tonnes from 289,774 tonnes for the month. Total aircraft movement for the month rose 5.6 percent from a year ago to 24,180 flights from 22,887. Passenger volume for the six months ended last month rose 6.4 percent from the same period a year ago to 22.7 million.

■ CONSTRUCTION

Investment in N Korea

North Korea's state news agency reported yesterday that an Egyptian company has agreed to invest in a cement complex in North Korea. Egypt's Orascom Construction Industries signed the joint venture agreement with Pyongyang Myongdang Trading Corp, the official Korean central news agency said. The purpose of the agreement is to establish a partnership "to modernize, renovate, upgrade and operate the Sangwon Cement Complex," the agency said. No financial terms of the agreement, apparently signed last week in North Korea, were disclosed. Orascom Construction is a cement manufacturer and construction contractor active in emerging markets in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.

■ ELECTRONICS

Philips net profits rise

Royal Philips Electronics NV, a maker of medical and lighting equipment, said yesterday that net profit for the second quarter rose due to a large gain on the sale of a stake in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd. Net profit was 1.57 billion euros (US$2.16 billion), up from 301 million euros a year earlier, while sales fell 4.4 percent to 6.10 billion euros from 6.38 billion euros. The company blamed the fall in sales on unfavorable exchange rates and said they would otherwise have been "on par" with a year earlier.

■ AUTOMOBILES

S Koreans stage protest

Workers at two South Korean auto companies staged labor stoppages yesterday in support of a pay claim, company officials said. GM Daewoo Auto and Technology's 9,915-member union launched a two-hour strike from mid-morning, spokesman Lee Jong-yong said, adding that night-shift workers would also put down tools for two hours. "The union plans to strike again Wednesday if it fails to reach agreement with management at negotiations tomorrow," he said. Workers want an increase of 128,805 won (US$140) in monthly basic salary and a special bonus.

■ AIRLINES

Iberia attracts more bidders

Air France and the investment fund Apax, allied with Spanish investors, are preparing a bid for Spanish carrier Iberia, the newspaper elEconomista reported yesterday. The paper, citing sources close to the matter, said the French-led alliance would unveil its offer by the end of the month, challenging an overture from the TPG investment fund and British Airways. It said the new bid would value Iberia at around 3.81 billion euros (US$5.2 billion). The preliminary TPG bid, announced in March and later joined by British Airways, is worth 3.4 billion euros.

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