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Fri, Apr 02, 2010 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■MANUFACTURING

European beats estimates

Europe’s manufacturing industry expanded at a faster pace than initially estimated last month as reviving global demand prompted companies to step up output. A manufacturing index based on a survey of euro-area purchasing managers rose to 56.6 from 54.2 in February, ­London-based Markit Economics said yesterday. That’s above an initial estimate of 56.3 and the fastest pace since November 2006. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. An index of UK manufacturing rose to a 15-year high, a separate report showed.

■AVIATION

Pentagon extends deadline

The deadline for bids on a US$35 billion contract for refueling jets will be extended by 60 days so the European maker of Airbus can compete, the Pentagon said on Wednesday. Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said the military still planned to award the contract this fall. The decision is aimed at encouraging competition in a program that critics say has been poorly managed and unfairly favors the Boeing Co. Northrop Grumman Corp, which had been partnered with the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co, said last month that it would not bid because it didn’t think it could win.

■SMARTPHONES

RIM posts Q4 earnings rise

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd (RIM) on Wednesday said earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter ended Feb. 27 were US$710 million, or US$1.27 per share. That was up 37 percent from a year earlier and was nearly in line with analysts’ predictions of US$1.28 per share. Yet its revenue of US$4.08 billion, while rising 18 percent over the same period a year earlier, was short of the US$4.31 billion expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

■MINING

Vale Amazon plant approved

Brazilian mining giant Vale on Wednesday got the government’s green light to build a US$3 billion steel plant in northern Para state, in the Amazon jungle, company president Roger Agnelli said. “Our role is promote the growth of steel production in Brazil and to do that we’re looking for the best technologies and processing methods,” Agnelli said in a statement. The new plant will have an annual output of 2 million tonnes, Vale said.

■AUTOMAKERS

Toyota’s Japan sales surge

Toyota sales are booming in Japan, up a hefty 50 percent last month, shrugging off any fallout from massive global recalls. Toyota Motor Corp sales in Japan totaled 204,514 vehicles, up from 135,700 the same month last year, for the eighth straight month of on-year rise, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said yesterday. Japan’s auto sales have been recovering, with sales jumping 10 percent in the year ending last month from the same period a year earlier to 3.2 million vehicles, the group said. It said that was the first year-on-year increase in seven years.

■REAL ESTATE

Singapore prices keep rising

Singaporean real-estate prices rose for a third consecutive quarter in the January-March period despite government efforts to cool the hot property market. Private residential property prices rose 5.1 percent in the first quarter after jumping 7.4 percent in the fourth and 15.8 percent in the third, the Urban Redevelopment Authority said yesterday. Prices have bounced back strongly after diving 25 percent in the 12 months to the middle of last year as the city-state’s economy rebounds from last year’s recession.

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