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Thu, Dec 25, 2008 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ SINGAPORE

GIC buys ProLogis property

The government said it has acquired the property interests of a US-based firm in China and Japan for US$1.3 billion. Government investment firm GIC said in a statement late on Tuesday that it would pay cash to acquire the property operations of US-based ProLogis in the two Asian countries. The transaction was due to be completed next month, it said. GIC is one of two investment vehicles of the Singapore government and manages the country’s foreign reserves of more than US$100 billion through various investments.

■ELECTRONICS

RIM sues Motorola

Motorola Inc was sued by BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd (RIM) over claims the mobile-phone maker is improperly blocking it from offering jobs to laid-off Motorola workers. RIM, in a complaint filed yesterday in state court in Chicago, asked for an order invalidating an agreement the companies reached this year not to solicit each other’s employees. The agreement expired in August and is no longer enforceable, the complaint said. Motorola, the world’s third-largest mobile-phone maker, is improperly trying to expand the agreement “to prevent the RIM entities from hiring any Motorola employees, including the thousands of employees Motorola has already fired or will fire,” RIM, based in Waterloo, Ontario, said in the complaint.

■AUTOMOBILES

Parts maker’s profits drop

Japan’s leading car parts maker Denso Corp said yesterday its full-year net profit would be one-tenth of an earlier forecast because of the poor performance of the auto industry and a strong yen. Denso, a major supplier to Toyota Motor Corp, now estimates its group net profit at ¥10 billion (US$110 million) for the year to March, down from ¥101 billion it projected less than two months ago. The financial crisis triggered in the US had affected the whole world, said Sadahiro Usui, managing officer of Denso. Denso also downgraded its sales projection to ¥3.3 trillion from ¥3.65 trillion estimated on Oct. 30. Its operating-profit forecast was lowered to ¥38 billion from ¥178 billion.

■FINANCE

Chinese bank to relaunch

Agricultural Bank of China will relaunch as a stock-holding company before the Lunar New Year on Jan. 26, bringing it a step closer to an eventual stock market listing, state media said yesterday. The lender has finished hiving off its bad loans, the China Business News reported, citing an unnamed source. The bank reported 818 billion yuan (US$119 billion) in non-performing loans at the end of last year. The bank, the weakest of China’s four major state-owned commercial banks, received a US$19 billion government cash injection last month as part of its preparations for an eventual stock listing.

■TRADE

China protests duties

China has protested at the WTO over US anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed on some Chinese-made products, state media reported yesterday. The China Daily newspaper said the protest was the second by China since its 2001 entry into the WTO and was aimed at thwarting trade protectionism amid the global downturn. Import duties on four product categories including steel pipes and off-road tires were first levied by the US in September. Despite China’s protests, the US International Trade Commission claimed the duties were necessary to offset subsidies by the Chinese government to those exports, the report said.

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