Home / World Business
Sat, Apr 03, 2010 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■AGRICULTURE

US senators target China

Two influential senators on Thursday called on the US agency in charge of identifying abusive trade practices to look into Chinese barriers to US agricultural exports. Democrat Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and ranking Republican Chuck Grassley wrote to Shara Aranoff, head of the US International Trade Commission (ITC), and asked for a report covering a five-year period from 2004 to last year. “China is already the fourth-largest market for US agricultural products, but there is room for substantial growth if we can reduce trade barriers to our exports,” said Baucus, claiming that US exporters “face unjustified restrictions in the Chinese market.”

■INSURANCE

AIG board members named

The US Treasury Department has appointed a former banking executive and a former high-tech CEO to the board of directors of insurance giant American International Group Inc (AIG). Donald Layton and Ronald Rittenmeyer will serve as directors as AIG strives to repay a government bailout package that totaled US$182 billion, Treasury said on Thursday. Layton is a former JPMorgan Chase & Co vice chairman who worked at the bank for 29 years. He served in 2008 and last year as chairman and CEO of ETrade Financial Corp. Rittenmeyer is former chairman, president and CEO of the technology systems firm Electronic Data Systems Inc. He presided over that company’s sale to Hewlett-Packard in 2008.

■WIRELESS

Nortel completes unit sale

Canada’s Nortel Networks on Thursday announced it has completed the US$103 million sale of its GSM-GSMR wireless business to Sweden’s Ericsson and Austria’s Kapsch. Announced on Nov. 25, the US$103 million sale awaits confirmation by US, Canadian and French courts. “Ericsson has purchased assets relating to the North American GSM business and Kapsch has purchased assets relating to the EMEA and Taiwan GSM businesses. Kapsch has also acquired the global assets of the GSM-R business,” Nortel said in a statement. The deal calls for transferring 670 Nortel jobs to its buyers.

■OIL

Shell may sell African assets

Shell Oil said on Thursday it was considering selling most of its service stations and other downstream assets in 21 African countries, as part of a wider effort to reduce its global refining and marketing exposure. The decision comes close on the heels of fellow European oil major BP’s announcement it would pull out of five countries in southern Africa, underscoring expectations of lackluster returns in the region’s fuel retailing business. Shell said the review would not include its operations in South Africa, or its exploration and production activities anywhere on the continent, and comes as part of its plan to reduce its global refining and marketing exposure by 15 percent and 35 percent, respectively.

■MINING

Vale inks new ore deals

Brazil mining giant Vale says its has reached new iron ore pricing agreements with most of its clients. Vale SA says in a statement the agreements are “based on short-term market references and price changes on a quarterly basis.” The statement released on Thursday says the agreements cover 97 percent of the company’s client base and that the new pricing system involves “a more flexible approach toward pricing.” It did not provide further details.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top