Seoul to launch fund
South Korea will launch a US$3.94 billion fund next month to boost corporate investment as part of a drive for economic recovery, officials said yesterday. The 5 trillion-won fund was approved by President Lee Myung-bak at his meeting with business leaders and policymakers, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said. The ministry plans to expand the fund to 20 trillion won after drawing participation from other pension funds and institutional investors.
Australia posts huge deficit
Australia yesterday reported its largest trade deficit in 12 months as softening commodity prices and demand hammered export earnings, dealers said. The trade deficit almost doubled to A$556 million (US$449 million) in seasonally adjusted terms in May, up from A$282 million in April, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said. Exports plunged 5 percent over the month, partially offset by a 4 percent fall in imports. It was the steepest fall since July last year, when Australia reported a seasonally adjusted deficit of A$717 million and was more than four times the median market expectation of A$125 million.
Hitachi to supply GM
Japanese electronics manufacturer Hitachi Ltd said yesterday it would supply lithium-ion batteries for hybrid vehicles to General Motors Corp next year and sharply raise production capacity to meet surging demand for gas-electric cars. Hitachi currently makes 40,000 lithium-ion batteries per month and will lift the capacity to 3 million units. “We plan to boost our production capacity for lithium-ion batteries as we expect demand for hybrid vehicles will continue to grow worldwide,” Hitachi spokesman Shinya Yamada said. He declined to say when capacity expansion would start.
YouTube raises upload limit
Video-sharing site YouTube said on Wednesday it was doubling the size limit for uploads to its Web site to allow users to post more high-definition (HD) video. YouTube, in a blog post, said the size limit for uploads to the site was being doubled — from 1 gigabyte to 2 gigabytes. “The increase means you can upload longer videos at a higher resolution as well as large HD files directly from your camera,” YouTube said. “The changes allow you to share links directly to the HD version of your video, as well as embed the HD version on your blog or Web site,” it said.
Telefonica eyeing T-Mobile
Telefonica has joined Vodafone in considering a bid for T-Mobile UK, while France Telecom is weighing up a possible joint venture with the British mobile operator, the Financial Times said yesterday, citing people close to the matter. The FT on Monday reported that Vodafone, the world’s biggest mobile phone company by revenue, was exploring a bid to buy T-Mobile UK, the British arm of Deutsche Telekom.
Rio Tinto 97% subscribed
Mining giant Rio Tinto said yesterday investors had bought 97 percent of the new London-listed shares issued by the group to help it raise US$15.2 billion. The Anglo-Australian group on June 5 announced plans to raise US$11.8 billion from the sale of fresh London-listed stock and US$3.4 billion from new shares listed in Sydney. Results of the Sydney rights issue would be announced today, the company said.