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  • Home > News > Details
    IN BRIEF (Page: 10, Date: 10/18/2004)

    The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) launched mobile banking services nationwide recently, allowing clients to access its banking services through mobile phones.

    More than 9,000 transactions, totalling 322,000 yuan (US$38,000), had been completed since the bank launched trial operations in late August.

    Textile partners

    Italian textile machinery manufacturers expect to develop closer ties with Chinese partners, says Antonino Laspina, the trade commissioner of Italian Trade Commission Beijing Office.

    The commission and the Italian Textile Manufacturers Association organized an official pavilion of about 80 exhibitors to take part in the Ninth China International Textile Machinery Exhibition which closed on Saturday in Beijing.

    Low-cost car launched

    Geely, the privately owned car maker based in East China's Zhejiang Province, launched a new low-cost compact car, Haoqing 203A, earlier last week.

    The model retails between 29,999 yuan (US$3,623) and 31,999 yuan (US$3,864), the cheapest new car on the Chinese mainland.

    Joint finance lab planned

    Reuters is to build a joint finance lab with the Chinese Academy of Sciences to help teachers and students at the academy to conduct research in areas about the financial risks related to the trading of renminbi and derivatives, said its CEO Tom Glocer during a trip to China recently.

    Reuters will provide equipment worth over US$5 million for the joint lab to boost its analysis capability.

    Clean energy meeting

    The second advisory board meeting of Tsinghua BP Clean Energy Research Education Centre was held on Friday. More than 20 representatives from the industry discussed the latest developments in scientific research and international co-operation since the centre was founded a year ago.

    Enterprise symposium

    The First Symposium on Japanese Enterprises' Development in Beijing will be held in Beijing between Wednesday and Thursday.

    The symposium will highlight Sino-Japanese co-operation in the field of modern manufacturing and high-end technology, centering on Beijing's key industries such as cars, microelectronics, biology and modern pharmaceutical practices.

    Bank offers visas

    CITIC Industrial Bank signed a memorandum of agreement with the Embassy of Singapore on Friday to provide visa agent services to Chinese business travelers and tourists to Singapore.

    Qualified Chinese residents can apply for tourist or business visas at branches of the bank, which will transfer relevant documents to the embassy and provide a convenient service for applicants.

    Canon improves service

    The Beijing branch of Canon China, established last September, has started focusing its attention on improving after-sale service to raise its competitiveness.

    Although current Chinese market sales volume only makes up 2 per cent of Canon's global total, Canon has great confidence in the potential market and expects to expand its business in China.

    Magnesium development Hebi in Central China's Henan Province, aims to build the largest magnesium research and development centre and production base in China within three to five years. The annual magnesium production of the city is expected to double.

    The city is seeking domestic and foreign co-operation opportunities to attract capital and technology investment from home and abroad with the purpose of upgrading its magnesium industry.

    'Worrying' oil price

    Shoichi Nakagawa, Japan's trade and industry minister, said a crude oil price of US$55 a barrel is "worrying."

    Crude oil reached a record US$55 a barrel in New York last week. Prices have risen every week since September 13.

    "There are two effects on Japan from the rising oil price," Nakagawa said on a Fuji Television programme. "There's the impact on the Japanese economy from the US economy as a result of the higher price, and the direct impact in Japan."

    Nakagawa said the high price also has an effect on public sentiment and that he will watch the situation "very carefully."

    Gas exploration

    OAO Lukoil and Saudi Aramco will start next month looking for gas in Saudi Arabia's Rub al-Khali desert, the Middle East Economic Digest said, without citing a source for the information.

    Lukoil, which has an 80 per cent stake in Lukoil Saudi Arabian Energy, will start drilling exploration wells in 2006, the London-based weekly said.

    The Russian oil company and Aramco agreed this year to invest US$215 million to look for gas over a five-year period.

    Total development

    Total SA, Europe's No 3 oil company, has won a contract to develop part of Iran's offshore natural gas reserves, the Islamic republic's official IRNA news agency reported, citing an Iranian oil ministry official.

    Iran, holder of the world's second-largest gas reserves, will sign an agreement with the French company for phase 11 of the 25-phase development of the South Pars gas field, said Mehdi Mirmoezzi, managing director of Iran's National Oil Company.

    Warnings on beer

    Scottish Newcastle Plc, the maker of Kronenbourg and Foster's beer, plans to start putting health warnings on cans and bottles in the UK next month, the Sunday Telegraph reported, citing a company spokesman.

    The labels will list the number of alcohol units the product contains and include a message saying "responsible drinkers don't exceed three to four units a day for men, two to three for women," the Telegraph said. Adolf Coors Co, which makes Carling and Grolsch in the UK, will print similar labels in 2005, the report said. Others are expected to follow, the report said.

    Fleet replacement

    Philippine Airlines Inc, the nation's largest carrier, will replace 13 aircraft in its fleet by 2006, the Philippine Star's website reported, citing company President Jaime Bautista.

    The airline will either lease or purchase the jets from Boeing Co or Airbus SAS, the paper said, citing Bautista. One aircraft will be replaced this year while three others are scheduled next year, it said.

    Philippine Airlines, which entered in 1999 into an agreement that reorganized about US$2.3 billion of debt, has a fleet of 15 Boeing aircraft and 15 Airbus planes.

    Job creation

    J Sainsbury Plc Chief Executive Justin King will say this week that he is creating 3,000 jobs in the company's stores to ensure goods are placed on the shelves, the Sunday Telegraph reported, citing an unidentified executive.

    King learned in his six-month review of the business that stores had insufficient people to stack shelves once goods were delivered, the paper said. The cost of hiring staff will be met by eliminating 700 jobs from the head office, the paper said.

    The plan, to be announced tomorrow, will include efforts to improve Sainsbury's own-label products and to cut prices, which may reduce gross profit margins, the report said. The company will cut its dividend in half, the report said.

    (China Daily 10/18/2004 page10)

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