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Tue, Aug 21, 2007 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ SEMICONDUCTORS

Samsung to invest in chips

Samsung Electronics Co, the world's second-largest semiconductor maker, plans to spend 748.5 billion won (US$792 million) to increase production of memory chips and meet demand. The investments, to be made this year, will also be used to upgrade production lines, Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung said in a regulatory filing today, citing a board decision. South Korean companies are required to disclose investment plans that exceed 100 billion won.

■ TELECOMS

Skype service returns

Skype said its Internet phone service has returned to normal after a software bug left many users unable to log on for two days. The company, a division of online auction company eBay Inc, said it would explain what caused the problem in more detail later yesterday. "Until then, we'd like to apologize and thank you. Precisely in that order," the company told its customers in a posting on its Heartbeat blog on Saturday. "We know how difficult and frustrating the past two days have been. And still, your good wishes kept flowing in," it said. "We know how difficult and frustrating the past two days have been. And still, your good wishes kept flowing in, it said.

■ Telecoms

Mobile subscriptions climb

China Mobile Ltd (中國移動) added a record number of subscribers for a 10th straight month after the company lured customers from fixed-line competitors such as China Telecom Corp (中國電信), whose subscriber growth slowed last month. The mobile-phone company, the world's biggest wireless carrier by users, said on its Web site yesterday that it added 5.6 million subscribers last month, raising its total to 338 million. China Telecom, the nation's biggest fixed-line operator, added 60,000 customers, the smallest number since it started reporting monthly numbers in January last year.

■ MARKETS

ECB may not change rate

Credit Suisse Group said it expects the European Central Bank (ECB) to keep interest rates on hold next month instead of raising the benchmark further following turbulence on financial markets. The ECB will probably increase its key rate to 4.25 percent in the fourth quarter while "risks to that forecast are clearly to the downside," Credit Suisse economists in London said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Keeping borrowing costs on hold next month would be "prudent, forward-looking central banking based on a changed set of risks to the real economy."

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