Oil prices top $61

SINGAPORE: Crude prices briefly rose above $61 a barrel on Monday after Iran threatened to restart its nuclear enrichment programme, sparking concerns that tension between Tehran and West could disrupt oil supplies. Traders were worried about the impact on supply caused by two US refinery fires at a BP Plc Texas City plant and a Murphy Oil refinery. — AP

P’pine economic woes

MANILA: Pessimism among Philippine business leaders has risen sharply as president Gloria Arroyo’s worst-ever political crisis is seen as taking an economic toll. The survey reported that 71 per cent of executives feel the economy will likely grow at a lower rate than last year. — AP

ABN Amro posts profit

AMSTERDAM: Dutch banking group ABN Amro Holding NV reported an 11 per cent increase in second-quarter earnings on Monday, outpacing market expectations, and said it still aims to acquire a controlling stake in Italy’s Banca Antonveneta SpA. Net profit rose to $1.19 billion,

from a year earlier. — AP

VW to ride to Russia

FRANKFURT: Auto maker Volkswagen (VW) AG said it has yet to make final plans regarding the opening of a production plant in Russia. The company was still examining its options in the country after German weekly Automobilwoche reported that the car maker wanted to build an assembly plant near Moscow by 2007. — AP

Yahoo, CNN, ABC ties

SUNNYVALE: Yahoo Inc has closed a deal to use video news from ABC News and on its news site. will offer daily video clips and ABC will offer on-demand video content.

Video will be available for free to Yahoo users. — AP

Proton, VW seal deal

KUALA LUMPUR: Selling off a chunk of Malaysia’s Proton to Volkswagen (VW) AG would likely be a blow to Malaysian pride, but analysts say such a move would be huge boost to Proton. —AP