Summit addresses crisis
Seventeen Latin American governments issued a regional “food emergency” on Wednesday at the close of a one-day summit on the food crisis that underscored an ideological split among its participants. The final statement included a US$100 million Venezuelan initiative to boost cereal production that Mexico said should have been omitted because it was merely a proposal. The document was signed by all but El Salvador and Costa Rica, which complained that Venezuela and its leftist allies were against free trade. The summit, convened by the Alba trade group, or the leftist regimes of Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Cuba, called for speeding up food production in Latin America and urged the 63rd UN General Assembly to take up the world food crisis when it meets in September.
Airbus claims more orders
European aircraft maker Airbus said on Wednesday it had outpaced Boeing so far this year, winning 397 orders in the first four months, compared with to April compared with 346 for its US rival. It said it had 432 orders in all in the period, but 35 cancelations. Medium-haul planes dominated, with 290 A320s ordered compared with 235 of Boeing’s 737 workhorse series. Airbus said that for its long-haul aircraft — the A330, A340 and A350 — it had won 104 orders, while Boeing had 109 for its 777 and 787 models. There were three orders for the A380 superjumbo while Boeing had two orders for its 747. Last year, Airbus won 1,341 orders compared with Boeing’s 1,413.
Group denies illegal gains
Credit Suisse Group denied allegations that it made improper gains from trading South Korean companies’ overseas convertible bonds. Credit Suisse has “not conspired with any Korean convertible bond issuers to engage in market manipulation or any other improper conduct,” the Zurich-based company said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Media allegations that such trades took place are “baseless and unfounded,” it said. Credit Suisse has been in “regular dialogue” with the South Korean regulatory authorities and will continue to cooperate with them to help them reach the same conclusion, it said.
Air fares rise 7 percent
Business class air fares in the Asia-Pacific region climbed 4 percent in the first quarter of this year on demand for long-haul flights to the Americas and on regional routes, a business travel monitor said yesterday. Air fares across the region rose 7 percent year-on-year, an American Express report said. India was the exception to the upward trend in air fares in the region, the report said. “Current economic conditions seem to be having little effect on published air fares across [the] Asia Pacific, with demand still outstripping supply, the Business Times quoted advisory services head Kurt Knackstedt as saying.
Apple signs new agent
America Movil SAB, the top mobile phone operator in Latin America, said on Wednesday it had inked a deal to bring Apple Inc’s iPhone to more than a dozen countries starting later this year. The company didn’t offer more details about the arrangement, including whether it would be the exclusive iPhone provider in the targeted countries. Mexico City-based America Movil boasts 159.2 million subscribers in 16 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico.