South Korea June trade surplus jumps
SEOUL: South Korea reported yesterday a provisional trade surplus of US$2.35bil in June, the largest in 3½ years and almost double the revised US$1.22bil surplus posted in May.
Exports rose 22.3% year-on-year to US$15.77bil in June, while imports were up by a smaller margin of 12.5% to US$13.42bil, the Commerce Ministry said.
For the first six months to June, however, the aggregate trade surplus stood at US$3.9bil, down from US$4.93bil for the corresponding period of last year. – Agencies
TI plans new US$3bil plant in Texas
SAN FRANCISCO: Texas Instruments Inc (TI), the world’s biggest maker of semiconductors for mobile phones, plans to build a US$3bil chip-making plant in Texas, bucking a trend among its rivals to shift production overseas.
TI said groundbreaking for the new facility near its Dallas headquarters was expected by the end of 2005.The facility would build some of the world’s most advanced semiconductors on 300mm, or 12-inch, diameter silicon wafers, it added. – Reuters
IAG sells out of health insurance
SYDNEY: Insurance Australia Group Ltd (IAG) has sold its health insurance arm to unlisted Medical Benefits Fund of Australia Ltd (MBF) for A$100mil.
The deal includes a six-year alliance in which IAG, Australia’s largest general insurer, would offer customers health insurance products underwritten by MBF, according to an IAG statement to the Australian Stock Exchange. – Reuters
Tokyo Gas to tie up with Shell
TOKYO: Tokyo Gas Co Ltd, Japan’s largest gas utility, is teaming up with the Royal Dutch/Shell Group to build a 1.2-1.5 million KW thermal power plant in Yokohama. A Tokyo Gas spokesman said the companies would invest up to 100 billion yen (US$835mil) in the plant, which is scheduled to come on stream in 2009. – Reuters
Volvo to launch 2 models in China
BEIJING: Swedish automaker Volvo plans to launch two new models in China this year as it steps up efforts to boost worldwide sales, the China Business Weekly reported. The new models would be the limited edition sports saloon S60R and the newly upgraded S80 sedan, the report quoted Ong Eng Song, president of Volvo's China operations, as saying. – AFX
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