China to resume IPOs

SHANGHAI: China is expected to resume initial public offers (IPOs) no later than the second half of the year, lifting a suspension that was aimed at alleviating a liquidity crisis and spurring reform. No specific date was provided but a notice by the China Securities Regulatory Commission allowing for new stockmarket listings could come as early as March. — AFP

Ford’s 2005 sales soar

SHANGHAI: Ford Motor Co said on Monday that sales of its name-branded vehicles in China jumped by 46 per cent to a record 82,225 units, as the company performed well above industry expectations. “For Ford Motor Company in China, 2005 represented a record year of sales increase,” Ford Motor China chief executive Cheng Meiwei said. Changan Ford Automobile Co Ltd, Ford’s flagship joint venture with Changan Automotive Group, saw 2005 annual sales jump by 41 per cent. — AFP

Protest against brewer

BANGKOK: About 10,000 anti-alcohol protesters rallied on Monday outside the Stock Exchange of Thailand, demanding a further delay in the listing of the country’s best-selling brewer. The campaigners, led by former prime minister Chamlong Srimeung, asked the Thai regulator not to consider Thai Beverage Plc’s listing until the government completes a new law governing alcoholic drinks. — AFP

NRB to buy TBs

KATHMANDU: Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has decided to purchase treasury bills (TBs) worth Rs 300 million as per the NRB Act-2058 from the secondary market. According to a press release, NRB had purchased 91-days TBs from the secondary market at an average rate of Rs 99.3574 because the commercial banks could not purchase TBs, auctioned by the government, due to lack of liquidity. — HNS

NEFFA, NOLA accord

KATHMANDU: An understanding has been reached between Nepal Freight Forwarders Association (NEFFA) and Nepal Off-Line Airlines (NOLA) representatives in a bid to resolve facing the cargo-handling sector. According to a press statement, the issues relating to entry pass, loaders’ problems, weak infrastructure and business dispute would be resolved in a coordinated manner. — HNS

Lanka receives WB aid

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka on Monday secured $160 million from the World Bank to rebuild its dilapidated road network and improve education. The aid package included $100 million to improve and maintain roads and a $60 million grant for the education sector. This assistance represents the largest investment credit and the largest grant that the World Bank has ever given Sri Lanka. — AFP

Wholesale prices dip

LONDON: British wholesale prices, or the cost of goods at the factory gate, dropped in December for the third straight month owing to falling petroleum costs. Manufacturers’ wholesale prices fell by 0.2 per cent from November. — AFP