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Sat, Jun 13, 2009 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■INDUSTRY

Record output cut in EU

Factories and refiners in the 16 countries using the euro cut their output at the fastest rate on record in April in the face of depressed demand, official EU figures showed yesterday. The Eurostat data agency said eurozone industrial production fell 1.9 percent in April over one month, bringing the drop over 12 months to a record 21.6 percent, the sharpest annual contraction on record. In March, production had fallen 1.4 percent over one month and 19.3 percent over 12 months.

■ECONOMY

Asia can’t rely on US: ADB

Asia can’t rely on exports to the US for long-term economic growth because US consumers will buy less as they increase savings and pay down debt, Asian Development Bank (ADB) president Haruhiko Kuroda said on Friday. “I’m optimistic on Asia’s short-term outlook but pessimistic on the long-term,” Kuroda said in a speech in Tokyo. “The US savings rate could rise to as high as 10 percent and suppress consumption. It’s becoming impossible for Asia to rely on the US consumer.”

■LABOR

British postal strike planned

A British union says thousands of postal workers will strike next week in a dispute over jobs and services. The Communication Workers Union says up to 10,000 mail sorters, letter carriers and other London employees will walk out on Friday for 24 hours. The union accused the Royal Mail of making “arbitrary cuts” and called for negotiations. British public sector unions have increasingly called strikes as employers cut jobs and benefits amid the recession.

■COMPUTER

Dell planning acquisition

US computer giant Dell is planning to acquire a “significant-sized company” in the next few months, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. The newspaper, citing people who have recently spoken with its chief financial officer, Brian Gladden, said the Round Rock, Texas-based company wanted to expand its data-storage and tech-services businesses. The Journal said Dell, which has more than US$9 billion in cash reserves, sold US$1 billion in bonds on Wednesday. A Dell spokesman said the debt offering was “for general corporate purposes, and among the possibilities — and certainly no commitment has been made — are acquisitions.”

■BANKING

World banks must act: China

The US government and global financial authorities need to remove toxic assets from their banking systems to restore world economic stability, a top Chinese banking regulator said yesterday. Actions taken by governments worldwide to stabilize the financial sector “have gradually eased the panic,” said Liu Mingkang (劉明康), chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission. “But from the flip side of the coin ... I should say it’s not enough and all these are not ... working,” given the massive losses incurred by toxic assets still lingering in banking systems around the world, he said.

■INTERNET

AOL buys two Web startups

Internet pioneer AOL, which Time Warner plans to spin off into an independent company later this year, announced on Thursday that it had bought two small Web startups focused on local content. AOL, in a statement, said it had purchased Patch Media Corp, a local news and information platform for local communities, and Going Inc, a platform for sharing information about events in major cities.

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