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World Business Quick Take



Bank mulls Shanghai listing

China's securities regulator will this week review state lender China Construction Bank Corp's (中國建設銀行) plan to issue shares in Shanghai in what could be the country's biggest initial public offering so far. The bank's plan to issue up to 9 billion yuan-denominated shares will be reviewed on Friday, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said in a notice yesterday on its Web site. The bank was the first of China's four big state banks to stage an IPO in Hong Kong, raising US$9.2 billion in October 2005. But it has lagged behind rivals Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (中國工商銀行) and the Bank of China in seeking a domestic share listing.


Sweden plans crackdown

Swedish Internet service providers could be required by law to cut off customers who share large amounts of copyright music and films online under a new proposal presented to the government on Monday. A report prepared by a government-appointed investigator said illegal file-sharing was "a significant obstacle" to the development of legal alternatives to download copyrighted material on the Internet. Internet providers should therefore be obliged to cancel services to customers found to engage in large-scale file-sharing -- or face fines, Justice Department investigator Cecilia Renfors said in the report.


Power Gas wins LNG plant

Singapore named local gas distributor Power Gas Ltd yesterday as builder and operator of the city-state's first liquefied natural gas plant in its latest step toward diversifying its energy supply sources. Power Gas, a subsidiary of Singapore Power, will build and operate the facility on Jurong Island, Minister of State for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran told an industry conference. The facility, which will include a receiving terminal and re-gasification unit, will be ready in 2012, Iswaran said. Supplies are to be sourced from one party by the Energy Market Authority, he said, although he did not name the LNG source.


Nestle to buy Henniez

Nestle SA, the world's largest water bottler, plans to buy Sources Minerales Henniez SA for 155 million Swiss francs (US$128 million) to control almost a quarter of the local market. Nestle agreed to buy the Rouge family's 61.7 percent stake in Henniez for 3,000 francs a share, a statement released yesterday by the bottler of Perrier water shows. It will bid 5,303 francs for each of the remaining shares on the open market. The Swiss drink 127 liters of bottled water each annually, and the market is expanding by 1 percent to 2 percent a year, more than the European average, Nestle said. Its Swiss water unit will triple sales by purchasing Henniez.


Soy sauce ice cream a hit

Soy sauce is such a staple of the Japanese diet that now it's even being put on ice cream. A Japanese company has made a surprise hit by creating a special blend for ice cream -- said to taste a bit like caramel. Yamakawa Jozo, established in 1943 and based in the central city of Gifu, said it has sold nearly 6,000 bottles of the soy sauce for ice cream since January, with daily orders picking up to between 70 and 80 a day. The special sauce is brewed more than eight years in wooden barrels blended with sweet rice wine and starch syrup. The 70-millilitre bottle is priced at ?350 yen (US$3).

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