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Tue, Aug 24, 2010 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ STOCKS

BYD mulls year-end listing

Chinese battery and auto maker BYD (比亞迪) said yesterday that it hoped to list on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in the second half of the year, after delaying earlier plans for a Chinese listing. Last month, the Hong Kong-listed company said it was asking for shareholder approval to push back the flotation because of weakness in the stock market. BYD, part-owned by a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Group, said investors were scheduled to vote on the extension next Monday. The company has said it plans to offer up to 100 million A shares in Shenzhen to raise 2.85 billion yuan (US$419 million).

■ INVESTMENT

Fund eyes Colonial Pipeline

South Korea’s national pension fund says it is interested in buying Chevron’s 23.4 percent stake in Colonial Pipeline. National Pension Service official Kim Hee-seok said yesterday that the fund is in talks with the US oil pipeline operator, but emphasized that nothing has been decided on who will buy the stake. Kim declined to comment on local media reports estimating the fund had offered to pay Chevron Corp 1 trillion won (US$800 million) for the stake. The pension service is South Korea’s biggest investor, with 295 trillion won in assets as of June.

■ PHARMACEUTICALS

Roche buying BioImagene

Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche Group says it is buying California-based medical scanning company BioImagene Inc for US$100 million. Roche says it expects to complete the purchase of privately held BioImagene in the coming weeks. The Sunnyvale company provides imaging technology used by pathologists to analyze patients’ tissue samples. Roche, based in Basel, Switzerland, says BioImagene will become part of its subsidiary Ventana Medical Systems Inc.

■ECONOMY

Bahrain’s rating downgraded

Moody’s Investor Service says it has downgraded Bahrain’s sovereign rating, citing the country’s increasingly high price of oil needed to balance its budget. The ratings agency in a statement yesterday also cited a negative outlook about the nation’s banking sector and added it had downgraded ratings for several Bahrain-based banks over the past two years. Bahrain’s local and foreign currency debt ratings were lowered from A2 to A3.

■ TELECOMS

Smartphones rise in Asia

Smartphones will make up over half of Asian mobile phone sales by 2015, with 477 million units likely to be sold, a report by consultancy Frost and Sullivan said yesterday. The report said smartphones would account for 54 percent of the Asia-Pacific mobile market in five years, up sharply from 5 percent last year. The sharp rise will be a huge revenue boost for telecoms operators as it means a surge in demand for data services, the consultancy said. It said data usage from smartphones would generate more than US$38 billion for the region’s telecoms operators by 2015.

■ INTERNET

Seoul blocks some Twitter

South Korea will block access to three more Twitter accounts that it said posted North Korean propaganda. The content posted under the accounts violated national security law, the Korea Communications Standards Commission said in a statement yesterday. This follows its decision on Aug. 19 to block South Koreans accessing another Twitter account featuring pro-North Korean posts.

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