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Fri, Nov 23, 2007 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

■ Automobiles

Porsche in no hurry

German luxury sports car maker Porsche is in no hurry to buy shares in Volkswagen, the biggest European auto group, a press report said yesterday, quoting Porsche chief executive Wendelin Weideking. "There is no need for us to act tomorrow or the day after tomorrow," the report quoted Weideking as telling a Porsche works committee on Wednesday. He added that Porsche had a specific timeframe in mind on when it planned to raise its VW shareholdings but that only a few people knew what it was. Porsche currently has a stake of around 31 percent in VW but is widely expected to raise it to at least 50 percent.

■ Electronics

Samsung raring to go

Samsung Electronics Co said yesterday it plans to begin mass production of NAND flash memory chips at its plant in the US from next month, a company spokesman said yesterday. Samsung will make the chips from 300mm wafers using advanced 50-nanometer level process technology at its factory in Austin, Texas, said James Chung, a company spokesman. The announcement comes after Samsung said in June that it would invest US$3.5 billion by next year at the facility to meet rising NAND demand. Samsung will initially produce 20,000 wafers of 16 gigabit NAND flash chips a month, Chung said. Samsung said in June that it would gradually increase production to 60,000 wafers a month.

■ Oil

US$100 a 'fair price'

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Wednesday US$100 per barrel is a fair price for oil, as global crude prices approach triple digits. "The price of oil [is] almost 100 dollars per barrel, which is the fair price, and I'm sure we'll continue along that path," Chavez told a group of demonstrators in Caracas. Oil retreated below US$98 in Asian trade yesterday after rising to within striking distance of the symbolic US$100 level. Dealers said investors were taking a cautious stance to protect their positions since US financial markets were closed yesterday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

■ Steel

ArcelorMittal raises stake

China Oriental has notified its home exchange that ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel producer, has raised its stake in the company to more than 73 percent from 28 percent. In a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange, the Chinese steel producer said ArcelorMittal currently held 2.14 billion shares, up from 820 million shares previously. No commentary accompanied the filing and financial terms were not disclosed, while a spokeswoman for the company said yesterday a statement was being prepared in regards to the shareholding. ArcelorMittal paid US$647 million for the 28 percent shareholding earlier this month.

■ Palm Oil

Malaysia to respect market

Malaysia, the world's top producer of palm oil, said yesterday it will allow market forces to determine crude palm oil prices and ruled out any attempt to control rising prices due to strong demand. Peter Chin, minister of plantation industries and commodities said Malaysia did not think there was an "optimum" price for the commodity which is also in short supply due to recent flooding in Malaysia's southern Johor state.

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