China plans more FDI

BEIJING: China may soon expand the role of foreign institutional investors in its securities markets, more than doubling the combined amount they can invest to $10 billion. Qualified foreign institutional investors (QFIIs) have nearly reached the current limit of four billion dollars, making it necessary to lift the cap. — AFP

Current account rises

TOKYO: Japan’s current account surplus in March posted its first gain in three months on the back of strong overseas investment income but exports, a key driver for economic growth, continued to lag rising imports. The current account surplus, which measures the flow of goods, services and investment income and other financial transfers, rose by 0.5 per cent from a year earlier. — AFP

Not imposing exit tax

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia said on Monday it would not impose an exit tax to discourage speculators betting on a possible review of the ringgit currency peg. “Its a silly suggestion,” second finance minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop said. — AFP

MSN desktop search

REDMOND: Eager to gain some ground in the battle to help people find their computer files, Microsoft Corp launched the final version of its desktop search software on Monday. The free software is part of the MSN Search Toolbar Suite, which Microsoft introduced several months ago as a test version. — AP

Trade surplus down

SHANGHAI: - China’s trade surplus declined in April to $4.6 billion, despite a 32 per cent on-year rise in exports to $62.16 billion. Imports rose by 16.2 per cent on-year in April to $57.56 billion. China’s trade surplus in March was $5.7 billion. China’s trade surplus in the first four months of the year totalled $21.2 billion, on exports totaling $218.05 billion and imports totaling $196.87 billion. — AP

Australia seals oil deal

CANBERRA: After eighteen months of often tense discussions officials from the governments of Australia and East Timor reached agreement late last week on the division of revenues from oil and gas deposits in the seas between the two countries. While government officials are being tight-lipped about the accord, it is expected that the government of East Timor will decide this week whether it will accept the proposal. — Agencies

Toyota, GM JV fruitful

TOKYO: The heads of Toyota and General Motors have met in a courtesy call that reaffirmed a longtime partnership but stopped short of producing any new deals on technology. Visiting General Motors Corp chief execcutive Richard Wagoner met with Toyota Motor Corp president Fujio Cho and president-elect Katsuaki Watanabe on Saturday over dinner in Toyota city, after Wagoner visited the nearby 2005 World Expo in Aichi. — AP

Honda made in China

BEIJING: Japan’s Honda Motor Co is to export China-made cars to Europe and Asia next month, making it the first foreign car maker to launch a full-scale export operation on the mainland. “We have finished construction of our new factory and it will produce cars especially for the foreign market,” he said. — AFP