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Thu, Sep 24, 2009 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■AUTOMOBILES

Geely eyes Volvo deal

Chinese car maker Geely Automobile (吉利汽車) said yesterday it will raise about US$334 million in a deal with an affiliate of Goldman Sachs, building up cash for a possible takeover of Ford Motors Co’s Volvo Cars. Geely announced it would issue HK$2.586 billion (US$334 million) in convertible bonds and warrants to Goldman Sachs Capital Partners VI Fund. The money raised will be used to pay for potential acquisitions and other needs, Geely said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Geely’s announcement made no mention of the company’s interest in Volvo, though a company spokesman confirmed earlier that the Hangzhou-based automaker’s parent company was considering bidding for the Swedish automaker.

■GLASS

LG Chem eyes LCD plan

South Korea’s largest chemicals company LG Chem said yesterday it would invest 3 trillion won (US$2.5 billion) by 2018 in producing glass for liquid-crystal-display (LCD) panels. Work will start this year on a production line to open by early 2012 and six more lines will be added in phases by 2018, the company said in a statement. When all the lines are operating LG Chem said it aims to produce more than 50 million square meters of LCD glass every year, with annual sales of 2 trillion won (US$1.7 billion). “LCD glass production is a high-yielding business which leaves a high profit margin of some 40 to 50 percent of sales,” an LG Chem official said.

■BRAZIL

Moody’s boosts rating

Moody’s Investor Services has given Brazil a boost by raising its debt rating to investment grade. The upgrade came a year after the other two major rating agencies took the same step. Moody’s says the outlook for Brazil’s economy is positive, meaning it could get another upgrade in the future. The upgrade issued on Tuesday means Brazil has been labeled by Moody’s as a safe place to invest. Fitch Ratings gave Brazil its upgrade in May last year, a month after Standard & Poor’s was the first to say the nation had reached investment grade.

■NEW ZEALAND

GDP shows slight growth

New Zealand showed signs of emerging from recession yesterday but officials said growth was so slight it did not mark a definite turning point in the economy. Statistics New Zealand said GDP rose less than 0.1 percent in the three months to June following five quarters of contraction. Finance Minister Bill English said the data showed the economy was stabilizing, but the country remained well short of a strong recovery that would lead to sustainable jobs and growth. For the year to the end of June, the economy shrank 1.8 percent, compared with 2.5 percent growth in the year ending in June last year. It marks the biggest annual decline in economic activity since 1987.

■COMPUTING

IBM to launch software

International Business Machines Corp (IBM), the world’s largest computer-service provider, is introducing its first software for netbooks, tapping into the growing market for the scaled-down laptops. The software, called the IBM Smart Work Client, will run on so-called open-sourced Linux programs instead of Microsoft Corp’s Windows, the company said yesterday in a statement. Armonk, New York-based IBM said it will start selling the software in Africa and then expand to other emerging markets.

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