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Fri, Nov 30, 2007 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

■ JAPAN

Industrial output hits record

Industrial production rose sequentially by 1.6 percent last month to a record high, boosted by output of semiconductors and autos, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said yesterday. Production dropped 1.4 percent in September after jumping 3.5 percent in August. The index of industrial output climbed to 112.1 against a base of 100 for the year 2000. That's the highest the production index has recorded since the government began tracking relevant production data in 1953, the ministry said. Still, analysts remained skeptical whether Japan's output could continue growing amid recent sluggishness in the housing construction sector.

■ BANKING

Temasek sells China stocks

Singapore's state investment agency said it sold shares in two Chinese banks this week, netting more than US$500 million in proceeds. Temasek sold 280 million shares in China Construction Bank (中國建設銀行) on Wednesday, representing less than 2 percent of its holding in the bank, a company spokeswoman said yesterday. Two days earlier, Temasek confirmed it sold 1.08 billion shares in Bank of China (中國銀行) for HK$4.45 billion (US$570 million), reducing its stake in the mainland lender from 15.5 percent to 14.2 percent. Both sales were part of Temasek's ongoing rebalancing of its portfolio, the spokeswoman said in a statement.

■ ELECTRONICS

Canon to build new plant

Japanese high-tech giant Canon Inc announced yesterday plans to spend ?80 billion (US$727 million) on a new domestic plant to step up production of toner cartridges amid growing demand. Canon will start construction of the new plant in December next year in Hita City in the southern prefecture of Oita, with operations expected to begin in September 2009, the group said. "In recent years, steadily growing demand for toner cartridges and other consumables has created a pressing need to expand production capacity," a company statement said. Canon expects record profits this year on the back of brisk sales of digital cameras and printers.

■ ADVERTISING

Adobe, Yahoo team up

Adobe Systems Inc and Yahoo Inc were to launch a service yesterday allowing publishers to insert ads into many online newsletters or other electronic documents. The deal requires publishers to opt into the program, and it will distribute revenue from advertisers between publishers, Adobe and Yahoo. Financial details were not disclosed. The service marks the first time Adobe has allowed dynamic ads into portable document format, or PDF, documents. Dynamic ads -- like those placed online through Google Inc -- can be updated for particular audiences, or rotated so the same reader never sees the same ad twice.

■ SEMICONDUCTORS

Hynix welcomes ruling

South Korea's Hynix Semiconductor welcomed yesterday a WTO ruling that Japan's punitive tariffs on imports of its dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips were illegal under international trade rules. Japan imposed 27.2 percent tariffs in January last year on DRAM chips produced by the world's second-largest memory chipmaker. Japan accused Hynix of selling subsidized products, while South Korea insisted the duties breached world trade rules. The WTO's appellate body made its ruling on Wednesday.

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