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Thu, Oct 04, 2007 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ STOCK MARKET

Chinese firms set record

Chinese firms raised a record amount of nearly US$57 billion on the country's stock market over the first nine months of the year, state press said yesterday. The sum of 425 billion yuan (US$56.7 billion) had surpassed the total of 423.9 billion yuan raised on China's markets from 2002 to last year, Xinhua news agency said. Some 35 percent of the money raised this year came in 15 initial public offerings (IPOs) last month, which garnered 149 billion yuan, the report said, citing the China Securities Journal. Some 126.7 billion yuan of the total raised this year came through secondary public offerings.

■ ENERGY

Toshiba, JFE sign contract

Japan's Toshiba Plant Systems & Services Corp. and JFE Engineering, a unit of steelmaker JFE Holdings Inc, said yesterday they have signed a contract to jointly make and sell steam turbines for power generation. The lucrative market for power generation equipment is fostering tie-ups that cross industry lines. JFE is one of the country's larger steel manufacturers, and Toshiba Plant Systems is a group company of Toshiba Corp. The companies said the deal will allow Toshiba Plant Systems to expand its products to turbines for thermal generators of 100 megawatts and below.

■ RETAIL

Wal-Mart opens new bank

Wal-Mart Stores Inc's Mexico unit said on Tuesday it has passed the final regulatory hurdle to launching its own bank in Mexico and will open branches as soon as next month. Wal-Mart de Mexico SA, the country's largest retailer and private-sector employer, said the National Banking and Securities Commission on Monday authorized it to start banking operations. The new bank will operate under the name Banco Wal-Mart de Mexico Adelante. "With Banco Wal-Mart we will be able to complement the services we provide to the segment of the population that currently lacks the benefits of having accessible banking services," said Eduardo Solorzano, president and CEO of Wal-Mart de Mexico.

■ FINANCE

Morgan Stanley cuts jobs

Morgan Stanley said on Tuesday it is cutting about 600 jobs and consolidating its mortgage businesses, after a credit crisis upended the home loan industry this summer and forced other investment banks into similar moves. It comes two weeks after the company posted a worse fiscal third quarter than analysts expected. Morgan Stanley had to take a US$940 million writedown in the quarter for loans -- made to fuel the corporate buyout boom -- that were stuck on its books. The bank will reduce jobs in the US and Europe and close certain offices.

■ INTERNET

Microsoft buys Jellyfish

The battle for terrain in the lucrative Internet search market continued on Tuesday with Microsoft revealing it has bought Jellyfish, a US firm specializing in comparison shopping online. "We purchased Jellyfish.com," Microsoft search and advertising platform group vice president Alex Gounares said. "We think the technology has some really interesting potential applications as we continue to invest heavily in shopping/commerce as a key vertical for Live Search." Jellyfish offers shoppers money back for purchases made through the Web site.

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