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Mon, Aug 27, 2007 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ ENERGY

Status quo at OPEC

Iran, OPEC's second-largest oil producer, said on Saturday it does not foresee any change in the cartel's output ceiling being decided on at the Sept. 11 meeting in Vienna. "It seems that the current OPEC production is enough and that at the next meeting the current ceiling will be kept," caretaker Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency. On Aug. 13, a day after Nozari's appointment by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who had replaced the oil minister in a surprise decree, a ministry official said Tehran's policy towards OPEC would not change.

■ TELECOMS

STC bids for expansion

Saudi Telecom (STC) announced on Saturday it will bid to acquire 26 percent of Kuwait's third mobile company, which is expected to start operations early next year. The Saudi company, which enjoys a monopoly over landline services in the kingdom in addition to its vast mobile-phone market, will present its bid before the deadline of Sept. 7, SPA state news agency reported. "This is a chance to continue Saudi Telecom's policy of pressing with foreign expansions, and to enhance the possibilities for operational consolidations in the Gulf region," STC chairman Mohammad al-Jasser said, according to SPA.

■ SEMICONDUCTORS

Intel intros secure chips

Intel Corp, the world's biggest semiconductor maker, said it will introduce a version of its vPro product aimed at helping companies better protect their machines from hackers and viruses. Dell Inc, Hewlett-Packard Co and Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) will make notebook and desktop computers using the technology, which includes a processor, other chips and software, vice president Robert Crooke said on Friday during a briefing in San Francisco. Intel has sold more than 4 million of the vPro products since they went on sale a year ago, Crooke said. The updated product has filters that can detect attacks by analyzing patterns of data, he said.

■ TRADE

China, NZ close to FTA

China and New Zealand may reach a free-trade agreement by April, trade officials from both countries said today. "Ninety percent of the substance of negotiations has already been settled," Chinese Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai (薄熙來) told reporters in Manila, where he met New Zealand Trade Minister Phil Goff. Talks are "proceeding smoothly." New Zealand's imports from China rose 13.5 percent to NZ$2.94 billion (US$2.1 billion) in the first seven months of the year, while exports were little changed at NZ$1.12 billion, according to Bloomberg data.

■ AIRLINES

Lufthansa eyes BMI

Lufthansa increasing its 30 percent stake in British airline BMI is "an option," Wolfgang Mayrhuber, CEO of the German carrier, said in an interview pre-published on Saturday. "We have decided to keep quiet on the details, but BMI is an option," Mayrhuber said in an interview with German business weekly Wirtschaftswoche to be published today. Press reports have for months said that Lufthansa was very interested in buying the 20 percent stake in BMI currently held by Scandinavian Airlines System.

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