Plane subsidies’ row

PARIS: The prospect of a negotiated settlement to the trans-Atlantic trade dispute on plane subsidies has improved, Boeing CEO Jim McNerney said on Wednesday. “I’m beginning to see signs that the two governments are increasing the pace of their dialogue, and I’m supportive of that,” McNerney told reporters in Paris, referring to the WTO dispute between the EU and US over public aid to Boeing Co and Airbus. — AP

EU unemployment

BRUSSELS: Eurozone unemployment slipped to the lowest level in four years in March, easing to 8.1 per cent of the workforce from 8.2 per cent in the previous month, according to the EU’s Eurostat data agency on Wednesday. The decline, which was based on seasonally adjusted data, beat private economists’ expectations for unemployment in the 12 nations sharing the single European currency to hold steady at 8.2 per cent. — AFP

S Korean bill on FI

SEOUL: South Korea’s parliament has approved a bill which will allow the government to impose taxes on gains made by tax haven-based foreign funds, the finance ministry said on Wednesday. The bill, approved on Tuesday, will help the ministry enact new rules under which investment income derived in South Korea will face a withholding tax, regardless of double taxation treaties. — AFP

UK to keep rate on ice

LONDON: Bank of England (BoE) policymakers are expected Thursday to hold the cost of British borrowing at 4.50 per cent for the ninth month in a row amid steady economic growth, analysts said. All 33 forecasters polled by AFP’s financial newswire AFX News see the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) maintaining the “repo” rate — the rate of interest at which the BoE lends to commercial banks. — AFP

New rail link in Taipei

TAIPEI: A high-speed rail line linking Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, and the

island’s second city, Kaohsiung, is scheduled to begin operating on October 31, a government official said on Wednesday, rejecting reports that the launch would be delayed. The mass-circulation United Daily News reported on Wednesday the launch may be delayed because Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp, which has the contract to build and operate the

link, failed to submit internal operations and maintenance guidelines on time. — AFP

EMI offer rejected

LONDON: EMI Group PLC said on Wednesday it had been rebuffed after making a $4.2 billion cash-and-shares offer for Warner Music Group Corp. EMI said its offer equivalent to $28.50 was made on May 1, and was rejected the following day. Warner Music said its board “has determined that the proposal is not in the best interests of our shareholders and has unanimously rejected it.” — AP

Energy drinks banned

ISTANBUL: Turkey banned sale of energy drinks with more than 150 milligrams of caffeine per litre, a notice published in the Official Gazette said. The ban was first introduced by the Agriculture Ministry in 2002 because of health concerns about high caffeine levels and had been expected to go into effect in January of 2007, giving firms time to comply with the new requirements. — AP