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Thu, Dec 31, 2009 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■TRADE

China faces penalties

The US announced on Tuesday preliminary penalties on imports of some Chinese steel grating, saying the products were being sold at below-market value to gain an unfair trade advantage. The US this year has imposed duties on other China-made steel products because of alleged dumping or export subsidies, including steel pipes. The US Commerce Department said it had preliminarily found that Chinese producers/exporters had sold steel grating in the US at between 14.36 percent and 145.18 percent less than normal value. The Commerce Department is scheduled to make its final determination in April.

■SOUTH KOREA

Output up for fifth month

Industrial output grew for a fifth month last month, official figures showed yesterday, in another sign the economy is fast recovering from the global downturn. Statistics Korea said production in mining and manufacturing rose 17.8 percent last month from a year earlier, the largest year-on-year increase since September 2006. The steep rise was due mainly to the low base in November last year, at the height of the slump. The statistics office said strong demand for semiconductors and cars contributed to the increase. Month-on-month, output rose 1.4 percent last month.

■INVESTMENT

KDB buys Daewoo stake

Korea Development Bank (KDB) will buy a controlling stake in Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co through a private-equity fund for 2.9 trillion won (US$2.5 billion) to help replenish depleting cash at Kumho Asiana Group. The fund will buy 50 percent plus one share in Daewoo Engineering from the South Korean conglomerate for 18,000 won a share, KDB vice chairman Kim Young-kee said in Seoul yesterday. The price is a 41 percent premium to yesterday’s close. Kumho Asiana put Daewoo Engineering up for sale as it faces a cash call of about 4 trillion won from creditors who helped finance the acquisition of South Korea’s third-biggest builder in 2006.

■SPONSORSHIP

Woods scandal cost billions

The sex scandal that engulfed Tiger Woods may have cost shareholders of companies endorsed by the world’s No. 1 golfer up to US$12 billion in losses, a study by two economics professors from the University of California, Davis, showed. The study, released on Monday by researchers Victor Stango and Christopher Knittel, gave an estimate for damage to the market value of Woods’ main sponsors caused by revelations of alleged extramarital affairs that surfaced after he was involved in a minor car accident outside his Florida home on Nov. 27. “Our analysis makes clear that while having a celebrity of Tiger Woods’ stature as an endorser has undeniable upside, the downside risk is substantial, too,” Stango said in a statement released along with the study.

■MINING

Codelco braces for strike

Chile’s Codelco, the world’s No. 1 copper producer, on Tuesday braced for a strike at its giant Chuquicamata mine, after workers rejected a wage offer, stoking supply fears on global copper markets. A strike could start within days at Chuquicamata, which produces about 4 percent of the world’s mined copper. A strike could curb production at the complex by about 1,800 tonnes a day. The vote to strike Chuquicamata came after union workers at Chile’s Altonorte smelter on Monday began a strike. The smelter’s owner Xstrata had already cut output for maintenance work set to last nearly a month.

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