BIZ BRIEFS

Yuan hits record high

SHANGHAI: China’s currency closed on Monday at a post-revaluation high against the US dollar, as local banks sold some of their excess dollar positions after the New Year holiday. The US dollar closed at 8.0555 on the automatic price-matching system. It opened at 8.0560 on Monday. Before the holiday, it last traded in Shanghai at 8.0616, on January 27. — AP

Foreign debt dips

JAKARTA: Indonesia’s foreign debt at the end of 2005 fell to 22.7 per cent of GDP, down from 42.2 per cent in 2000. Foreign debt was $61.04 billion at the end of last year, but did not provide a figure for year-end 2004. The foreign debt stock level has dropped quite significantly. Bilateral loans made up 51 per cent of the total amount, while 29 per cent consisted of multilateral loans and 19.4 per cent were export credits. — AFP

Taiwan’s CPI increases

TAIPEI: Taiwan’s consumer price index (CPI) in January was up by 2.65 per cent year-on-year and up a seasonally-adjusted 0.03 per cent month-on-month at 103.67. Given the 2001 benchmark of 100, the CPI in December rose by 2.21 per cent year-on-year and 0.17 per cent month-on-month after being seasonally adjusted. — AFP

Aussie job growth flat

SYDNEY: Job advertisements in major metropolitan newspapers in Australia fell by 0.9 per cent in January in a further sign of a softening of employment growth. The seasonally adjusted fall in newspaper employment ads was offset by a 6.2 per cent increase in internet job ads. Overall, job advertisements rose by 5.3 per cent in January from December to an average of 180,791 per week — a 24 per cent increase from last year. — AFP

Fuel costs hit airlines

TOKYO: Soaring fuel costs sent Japan Airlines deeper into the red for the quarter ended on December 31, with an $92.5 million loss, as an embarrassing spate of safety lapses cut

into passenger numbers at the major Japanese carrier. But revenue for the third quarter was propped up by the extra charge added to plane tickets from last year to offset surging fuel costs. — AP

ANZ bank eyes Asia

SYDNEY: The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) is stepping up its push into Asia, with plans to begin exporting staff and technology to markets including Cambodia and Vietnam. Australia’s third largest lender wanted to ramp up the ‘post-investment phase’ of its involvement across Asia. — AFP

Borrowing to fall

SINGAPORE: New borrowing by Asia-Pacific governments is likely to drop by 2.8 per cent this year on a continued slowdown in the pace of issuance amid fiscal consolidation, S&P said. Agost Benard, a credit analyst said that gross issuance of medium-and long-term debt is expected to fall to $1.75 trillion, down from $1.8 trillion last year. — AFP

Resume trading: NCC

KATHMANDU: Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) has appealed all the business community to resume their usual trading activities and provide service to consumers. The NCC has also urged the concerned organisations to facilitate import and transportation for continuous supply of goods through a press release. — HNS

HAN meets minister

KATHMANDU: A delegation led by Prakash Shrestha, president of Hotel Association Nepal (HAN) met Dr Roop Jyoti, state minister for finance and discussed, on the current issues faced by the tourism industry. On the occasion, Shrestha also complained the government for not providing any support, despite hotel industry being termed as sick industries. — HNS

Release staff, says CNI

KATHMANDU: Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) has demanded an unconditional release of three senior staff of Surya Nepal Pvt Ltd, who have been abducted recently. This sort of action will not only discourage industrial activities in the country but also affect investment environment in a greater extent, CNI has expressed serious concerns.— HNS