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Thu, Apr 09, 2009 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■SEMICONDUCTORS

Intel chief cautious

Intel Corp chairman Craig Barrett said yesterday that global stimulus packages would probably have some impact in the next six to 18 months. Barrett, who spoke at a briefing in Beijing, was responding to a question about when demand would recover. But he said Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, was uncertain when demand for semiconductors will revive. Demand for semiconductors is likely to remain well below last year’s levels for the next few quarters before a gradual recovery takes hold as the global economy regains strength, the Semiconductor Industry Association said.

■BONDS

S Korea to complete sale

Buoyed by strong demand, South Korea hopes to complete by today the sale of its first dollar-denominated sovereign bond issue since November 2006, a minister said. “The sale of foreign currency stabilization bonds is expected to be completed today or tomorrow,” Minister of Strategy and Finance Yoon Jeung-hyun told parliament yesterday. His ministry declined to give the size of the issue. Dow Jones Newswires quoted sources as saying the government wants to raise up to US$3 billion in a two-part global offering of five and 10-year bonds and demand had now reached about US$5.8 billion.

■INVESTMENT

Move on short-selling mulled

US Federal regulators were floating several options for reining in the practice of short-selling stocks, as investors, corporations and lawmakers clamor for restrictions on moves they say gutted vulnerable companies and worsened the market’s downward spiral. Members of the Securities and Exchange Commission were meeting yesterday to vote on new rules restricting short-selling.

■CRIME

Ex-Qwest chief jail-bound

A judge on Tuesday ordered former Qwest chief executive Joe Nacchio to report to prison by noon next Tuesday to start a six-year sentence on his insider trading conviction. Nacchio had asked for bail while he appeals his 2007 conviction to the US Supreme Court. But US District Judge Marcia Krieger said Nacchio hadn’t shown he would likely win a reversal of his conviction or be granted a new trial. Nacchio was convicted on 19 insider trading counts but acquitted on 23 counts.

■BANKING

RBS discusses job cuts

The Royal Bank of Scotland PLC (RBS) said on Tuesday it had begun talks with unions over cutting up to 9,000 jobs globally over two years in a restructuring of its back-office operations. RBS — which is majority-owned by the British government after accepting a £20 billion (US$29.35 billion) state bailout — said that around half the positions that could be affected are in Britain. The restructuring is part of RBS’ plan to reduce annual costs by £2.5 billion over the next three years.

■COMPUTERS

New pricing on iTunes

Apple on Tuesday changed its trademark standard of charging US$0.99 per song at online shop iTunes in a deal with recording studios that strips anti-piracy software from digital downloads. Songs now sell for US$0.69, US$0.99 or US$1.29 with studios deciding pricing. Music studios have long lobbied Apple to charge more for songs at iTunes. Apple ostensibly made the pricing concession in exchange for studios backing off demands for digital rights management software that prevents music from being copied.

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