Ports’ row risks trade

WASHINGTON: Treasury Secretary John Snow warned that the US risks “having the doors of the world closed to us” for investment unless it resists the appeal of protectionism. His comments came after an Arab company was forced to bow to a ferocious clamour in Congress and cede control of six US ports, assuaging lawmakers who claimed national security was endangered by the deal. — AFP

‘Cut crude output’

Caracas: Venezuelan energy minister Rafael Ramirez said that oil cartel OPEC should have cut production by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) at its March 8 Vienna meeting. “Our position is that we should have trimmed production,” he said, “The market is behaving in a different way, affected by geopolitical factors to a great extent. Nobody at this moment is in a position to set a floor and a ceiling price for OPEC oil.” — AFP

Current account

WASHINGTON: The US current account deficit widened to a colossal new high of $804.9 billion in 2005 as consumers binged on cheap imported goods. Huge gaps in oil and goods trade pushed the broadest measure of commercial and capital flows up from the 2004 deficit of $668.1 billion, amounting to a record 6.4 per cent of GDP last year. — AFP

Canadian exports up

OTTAWA: Canadian exports to China have tripled to over $7 billion, boosted by the resource industry. A new study of trade between 1998 to 2004 suggests Chinese imports of Canadian crude materials account for nearly one-third of total growth in Canada’s exports to China. Those exports have risen at an average annual rate of 21 per cent, making China Canada’s fourth largest export market. — AP

‘No change in policies’

ANKARA: Turkey’s acting central bank chief on Wednesday said the bank would maintain its tight monetary and inflation target policies, hours before his widely expected appointment as the governor. The Central Bank’s monetary policies will continue. It has announced its inflation target and we’re focused on reaching those targets. — AP

Ruling over Google

SAN JOSE: A federal judge said he intends to order Google Inc to turn over some of its Internet records to the US Justice Department, but expressed reservations about requiring the company to divulge some of its most sensitive data - the actual requests that people enter into its popular search engine. — AP

PlayStation 3 delayed

TOKYO: Sony will put off the release of its much awaited PlayStation 3 console until November from its planned spring debut because of delays in finalising its next-generation optical disk technology. — AP

Corporate takeover

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s second largest financial group, Bumiputra-Commerce Holdings, on Wednesday announced a landmark takeover of Southern Bank in the country’s largest-ever corporate deal. The deal, worth $1.8 billion sees Bumiputra-Commerce, through its unit CIMB, offering a price of 4.30 ringgit per Southern Bank (SBB) share plus a five sen dividend each. — AFP

Haldibari tea in valley

KATHMANDU: Haldibari Tea Packaging Industry has launched Haldibari Tea in Kathmandu. The Haldibari tea boasts good taste and would be admired by tea lovers. It is available in the pouches of 50-1000 gms and in 250, 500 and 1000-gm jar. — HNS

Appeal for release

KATHMANDU: Nepal Tea Development Board Ltd (NTDBL) has urged concerned organisation for a quick release of Binod Kumar Rajpurohit, manager at the NTDBL. An unidentified group abducted Rajpurohit from the Tokla Tea Plantation on Sunday. The NTDBL has urged the government, rights association and other watchdogs of industrial sector to voice the release of Rajpurohit. — HNS

Prudential’s schemes

KATHMANDU: Prudential Financial Institution has introduced two new packages; Prudential Certificate of Deposit (PCD) and Prudential Insurance Saving (PIS). The per unit cost of PCD is Rs 6547.36 and would be valued Rs 10,000 in five years. Under the PIS scheme customer can benefit daily interest and various other insurance amenities. — HNS