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China's industrial added value up 18.4%
BEIJING - The industrial added value of China's large enterprises jumped 18.4% in the first eight months of this year, 1.1 percentage points higher than the growth in the same period of last year, according to the National Development and Reform Commission. The industrial added value went up 17.5% in August, down 0.5 percentage point from the previous month, but up 1.8 points year on year.

Japan mulls venture-firm tax breaks
TOKYO - Japanese individuals will be able to deduct 20% of their investments in venture capital firms from their taxable income as part of fiscal 2008 tax reform measures being considered by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The move is part of steps to expand the scope of the so-called "angel tax system", where tax breaks are given to individuals investing in nonlisted venture firms that meet certain requirements.


China Unionpay signs pact with Malaysian bank
KUALA LUMPUR - China UnionPay (CUP) signed an agreement Thursday with Maybank, the largest commercial bank in Malaysia, to enable CUP card-holders benefit from cashless payments at Maybank's extensive merchant base in Malaysia. Huang Xinghai, vice president of CUP's international division, signed the accord on behalf of China UnionPay, while Maybank was represented by executive vice president Ashraf Ali Kadir.

Nomura's UK unit sells off leveraged buyout loans
TOKYO - Nomura International Plc, a UK unit of Nomura Holdings, on Thursday completed the sale of 175 million pounds (US$352.9 million) of debt financing connected to an investment fund's leveraged buyout of a British home health-care provider. Arranging the sale of leveraged-buyout debt is seen as a significant achievement in the current market, where firms are facing extreme difficulty obtaining financing because of a recent credit squeeze.

Information Technology

Vietnam joins Asianux software consortium
HANOI - Vietnam has officially become the fourth member of the Asianux consortium, following China, Japan and South Korea. The news was announced on Thursday by representatives from the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Information and Communications of Vietnam and Asianux members at the seventh Information Technology and Software Solutions Fair (Softmart 07) in Ho Chi Minh City.

BT wins contract from StanChart
NEW DELHI - Communications services provider British Telecom (BT) on Thursday said it has agreed to a contract from Standard Chartered Bank to provide network services to its offices in 16 countries including India. According to the contract, BT will supply network services to the Bank in 16 countries including the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, India and Malaysia, the company said in a statement.


Willcom eyes wireless license in Japan
TOKYO - Personal handyphone system (PHS) service provider Willcom Inc has applied for one of two licenses that the Japanese Communications Ministry plans to issue for spectrum for high-speed mobile broadband wireless services. If Willcom wins one of the licenses it will use the spectrum for a next-generation PHS service offering unlimited network access for a set fee.

UK's Aepona expects US$15-20m in India
NEW DELHI - UK-based telecom solutions provider Aepona is looking to earn revenue of about US$15 million to $20 million from its India operations by the end of this year. "India has emerged as one of the fastest growing telecom market in the world," Aepona vice president of marketing Michael Crossey said.


Viet steel firm signs deal with Japan's Hazama
HANOI - Zamil Steel Vietnam signed a US$3.7 million contract with Hazama Corp - a Japanese construction company - to design and construct a factory for Uniden Vietnam, a producer of wireless telephones. The factory will measure over 60,000 square meters and be comprised of four buildings.

Malaysia's Ranhill wins Sudan contracts
KUALA LUMPUR - Ranhill Berhad, a leading Malaysian construction and engineering group, has won a contract worth US$149 million from Sudan's Petrodar Operating Co Ltd which operates the Dar Blend field. Ranhill said Ranhill International Inc, its international unit, is a member of a consortium that won the contract for the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning work for PetroDar's Al-Jabalayn and Palouge processing facilities.


Samsung to build Singapore power plant
SEOUL - Samsung, a South Korean trading and construction company, said Thursday it has won a US$190 million order to build a power plant in Singapore. Under the contract, placed by Singapore's state-run power company, Samsung will build the plant that will generate 760 megawatts of electricity an hour by 2010, the company said in a statement.

China shuts 253 coal-fired generating units
BEIJING - In the past eight months, China has shut down 253 small coal-fired generating units that were heavy energy consumers and emitters, and replaced them with high-efficiency generators that has cut yearly coal consumption by 13.5 million tonnes and carbon-dioxide emissions by 27 million tonnes. Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan made the announcement at the second forum on China-Japan Energy Saving and Environmental Protection on Thursday.


Japan piston company hiking China production
TOKYO - Teikoku Piston Ring plans to increase its output of valve seats and valve guides in China to meet a growing demand from local automakers looking to improve product quality. The company will invest 250 million yen (US$2.2 million) to build a new plant in Anhui province with a Chinese company, Anqing TP Powder Metallurgy.The new plant is expected to be in operation by summer 2008.

Kia to make sport-utility vehicles in China
SEOUL - Kia Motors, South Korea's second-largest auto maker, said Friday its Chinese joint venture will begin producing Sportage sport-utility vehicles next month to boost sales in the world's fastest-growing auto market. Dongfeng Yueda Kia Motors will make the vehicles for sales in the mainland, a company official said.


Sinotrans, Korean Air to launch JV
BEIJING - Shanghai-listed Sinotrans Air Transportation Development announced Thursday that it plans to set up a joint venture with Korean Air two other South Korean partners and the local Dongli Economic Investment Development Company to construct and operate an airfreight yard at Tianjin Airport. The joint venture will have a registered capital of US$14.909 million, with 20% from Sinotrans Development, 47% from Korean Air, 8% from Dongli and 25% from the other two Korean investors. Total investment in the joint venture will reach US$43.85 million.

China Southern orders 55 Boeing 737s
BEIJING - China Southern Airlines said on Thursday that it has signed a deal with Boeing to buy 55 Boeing 737s to meet rising market demand and renew its fleet. The aircraft, including the 737-700 and 737-800 models, will be delivered between May 2011 and October 2013, said a statement from China Southern, the country's largest carrier in terms of fleet size.


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