Inflation rate climbing
The inflation rate this year is likely to exceed the government's 3 percent target, Su Ning (蘇寧), a vice governor of the People's Bank of China, said yesterday at a news conference in Beijing. Inflation in the January to last month period hit 3.5 percent, driven by the sizzling economy and a 15.4 percent surge in politically sensitive prices for pork and other food items over the year-earlier period. Prices soared 5.6 percent last month over the same month last year -- the highest monthly inflation rate since February 1997.
Hacker trades secret for car
The teenage hacker who managed to unlock the iPhone so that it can be used with cellular networks other than AT&T will be trading his reworked gadget for a new car. George Hotz, of Glen Rock, New Jersey, said he had reached the deal with CertiCell, a Kentucky-based mobile phone repair company. Hotz posted on his blog that he traded his modified iPhone for "a sweet Nissan 350Z and 3 8GB iPhones." The 17-year-old Hotz said he will be sending the three new iPhones to the three online collaborators who helped him divorce Apple Inc's popular product from AT&T's network. The job took 500 hours.
SK Energy sells Peru stake
South Korea's biggest refiner, SK Energy, said yesterday it had reached a US$100 million deal to sell 10 percent of its stake in a Peruvian energy project. The firm said in a statement it would sell a stake in Peru LNG to Marubeni LNG Development BV, a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan's Marubeni Corp, in a bid to concentrate on oil and gas exploration and production. The Peru LNG consortium was formed in 2003 and now groups US-based Hunt Oil, Spain's Repsol-YPF, SK Energy and Marubeni Corp. SK Energy has been producing and exporting natural gas and petroleum from two fields in Peru since 2000.
China issues bonds
China was to sell nearly US$80 billion in government bonds yesterday in the first batch of a planned special issue to fund a new foreign exchange investment agency, state media reported. The Ministry of Finance was to issue 600 billion yuan (US$79.4 billion) as part of the planned special treasury bonds sale totalling 1.55 trillion yuan, the China Securities Journal said. Proceeds of the bond issue will be injected into the new state forex investment agency, tasked with diversifying and maximizing returns on part of the country's huge forex reserves. The bonds carried yields of 4.3 percent with maturities of 10 years.
Director earnings revealed
The directors of the companies that make up the FTSE-100 index of leading firms earned a combined £1 billion (US$2 billion) in wages in the last financial year, a survey conducted by the Guardian published yesterday showed. The newspaper said that the average total pay for a chief executive of a FTSE-100 firm was £2.88 million, with Bob Diamond, who heads Barclays Plc's investment banking arm, topping the list with £23 million in wages. Bart Becht, chief executive of cosmetics group Reckitt Benckiser, and Giles Thorley, head of pub operator Punch Taverns, were second and third with overall pay of £22 million and ?11 million respectively.