Taj group’s new plan

MUMBAI: Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, one of South Asia’s largest luxury hotel chains, is planning to acquire the management rights of a New York-based luxury hotel to boost its overseas business. Taj Hotels, the hospitality services arm of diversified business conglomerate Tata Group, has entered into advanced stage of negotiations with the promoter of The Pierre to take control of the management of the hotel. — HNS

ICICI goes S Africa

JOHANNESBURG: India’s banking major ICICI Bank has opened a representative office here in a bid to establish a foothold on the African continent. Sudhir Dole, GM and head of international financial institutions group at ICICI, said decision to make a foray into South Africa had been prompted by several reasons. — HNS

Lee’s turnover rises

NEW DELHI: Denim major Lee has said it sees its Indian revenues rise by 30 per cent this year to $22.7 million, reinforcing the country’s position as the biggest market in the Asia Pacific region. The Kansas-based US casual wear giant, which registered $17.5 million in revenues from the Indian market in 2003, is also expanding its reach in the country by targeting smaller towns and cities. — HNS

Support to OPEC

CARACAS: Venezuela would likely support a cut in oil production if fellow OPEC members favour a move to reduce oil world supplies, Venezuela’s oil minister said. Rafael Ramirez said Venezuela, along with other members of the OPEC, would have to consider the proposal to decrease oil output at a meeting next month. — AP

Malaysia, Japan FTA

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia said it had agreed with Japan on Sunday to establish a free trade pact covering most sectors of their economies - a deal that could give Japanese automakers a greater share of Southeast Asia’s largest passenger car market. “We have now finalised everything,” international trade and industry minister Rafidah Aziz said after talks with visiting Japanese trade minister Shoichi Nakagawa. — AP