WestLB says risk limited
German bank WestLB has a US$1.7 billion exposure to subprime-related securities through subsidiaries, a spokesman said on Saturday. Hans Obermeier called the investment "relatively limited" and said the securities were highly rated. Some 98 percent were rated "A" or better, while 87 percent were rated "AA" or better, he said. As a comparison, troubled German bank IKB (Deutsche Industriebank) and its affiliates or associates extended a total of US$10.6 billion in the US mortgage sector, according to the weekly Der Spiegel to be published today.
Smallest chip developed
South Korea's Hynix Semiconductor said yesterday it has developed the world's fastest and smallest 1 gigabyte chip for mobile phones with mass production scheduled for early next year. The new chip is capable of processing 1.6 gigabytes of data per second, the world's second largest computer memory chip maker said. The company said it would start mass production of the chip which can be applied to "ultra-small electronic devices and memory products" early next year. Hynix aims to become the world's top chipmaker in 10 years through aggressive investment in next-generation products.
Glitch creates havoc
A computer glitch caused havoc for approximately 2,500 travelers at Los Angeles International Airport on Saturday, local media reports said. Passengers attempting to arrive or depart on international flights were caught in the chaos after a computer that monitors the security background of foreign travelers crashed, the Los Angeles Times reported. The computers maintain a list of people who should be subject to secondary searches upon entering the US, a spokesman said. The security system is responsible for the five Los Angeles Airport terminals that handle incoming flights. At least 16 arriving flights and 10 departing flights were affected by the breakdown, reports said.
Papers vow not to fake it
Dozens of state-controlled Chinese newspapers have vowed to crack down on faked news reports following a TV piece about buns filled with cardboard that was later declared bogus, state media said yesterday. At least 60 newspapers have signed a declaration "to root out fabricated news in all newspapers and rebuild the credibility of the media," Xinhua news agency said, quoting the State Press and Publication Administration. The declaration follows a Beijing TV report last month that street vendors were selling baozi, a popular bun-like snack usually filled with meat or vegetables, containing chemically softened cardboard. China's media is strictly controlled by the Communist Party.
Defer rate rises: Westpac
Australia's central bank should defer any further interest rate rise until the effect of last week's increase takes hold, said David Morgan, chief executive officer of Westpac Banking Corp, the nation's fourth biggest bank. Last week's quarter point increase in the benchmark interest rate to 6.5 percent was necessary to keep inflation under control, Morgan said yesterday on Sky News' Business Sunday program. A further increase probably isn't necessary this year, he said.