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Fri, Jun 20, 2008 - Page 10 News List

World Business News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ ENERGY

AED sells Timor Sea stake

Australia’s AED Oil said yesterday it had sold a 60 percent stake in its Timor Sea oil fields to Sinopec (中國石化), the second-largest crude producer in energy-hungry China. AED chairman David Dix said that under the US$561 million deal, AED and Sinopec would form a joint venture company to develop assets including the Puffin and Talbot fields in the Timor Sea. AED estimates its Timor Sea oil reserves at 100 million barrels.

■ ENERGY

Shell facility attacked

Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell halted production yesterday at a major offshore oil facility in Nigeria because of a militant attack, a spokesman said. “We shut down production at the Bonga oil field following an attack by unknown militants this morning,” Shell spokesman Precious Okolobo said. The attack was the latest in a series targeting the oil major. Last week, Shell said it would not be able to honor contracts for this and next month from its Bonny terminal after a militant group sabotaged its key crude supply pipelines back in April.

■ AGRICULTURE

Japanese giant grows food

Japanese retail giant Seven & I Holdings Co said yesterday that it would enter the farming business to produce its own vegetables amid growing consumer concerns about food safety. The group will grow vegetables in cooperation with farmers in Chiba Prefecture east of Tokyo to sell at its Ito-Yokado supermarket chain, the second largest in Japan, a company spokesman said. The company, which also operates 7-Eleven convenience stores, will grow vegetables such as cabbages, radishes, carrots and spinach on 2 hectares of land in cooperation with the farmers.

■ AGRICULTURE

Mexican firms freeze prices

Food manufacturers promised Mexico’s government on Wednesday that they would freeze prices on more than 150 food products to help families cope with rising costs. Mexican President Felipe Calderon said prices for goods such as beans, canned tuna, fruit juices, coffee, ketchup and canned tomatoes would remain fixed until Dec. 31. “This is a measure that will positively and directly benefit the finances of millions of Mexicans,” Calderon said, flanked by representatives of Mexico’s business chambers. “This reflects the commitment of Mexican businessmen to the country and to price stability.”

■ TOBACCO

UK firm cuts jobs

British group Imperial Tobacco said yesterday it would cut 2,440 jobs worldwide, including 1,060 positions in France, as part of a restructuring after the takeover of French-Spanish firm Altadis. “The enlarged group employs around 40,000 people worldwide. The restructuring projects will potentially reduce this number by around 2,440,” Imperial Tobacco said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

■ AUTOMAKERS

Toyota cuts US production

Toyota Motor Corp will cut production at three US plants in response to slowing sales, a spokeswoman said yesterday, hitting a bump on the road to becoming the world’s top automaker. Some 200 temporary workers will lose their jobs as a result of the cutbacks, she said. “We will slow down assembly lines, reduce operating hours and temporarily suspend production,” the spokeswoman said. The measures were to “cope with slowing sales in North America,” she said.

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