Oil cut not now: Iran:

TEHRAN: Iranian oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanghaneh said on Monday that OPEC believed the oil market was oversupplied but was unlikely to decide on an output cut when it meets in Vienna on Sunday. “Of course we have oversupply, but it does not mean for certain that OPEC will make a supply cut decision at the end of January. The session will be a consultative one and there will be no decisions made,” he told reporters.— AFP

$12b spent on railway:

SHANGHAI: Investment in China’s overloaded railway network is expected to top 100 billion yuan ($12 billion) in 2005 as the government pushes forward with plans to overhaul the creaking network, state press reported on Monday. The National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planning body, said that 58 new railroad projects would begin in 2005 while the 48 initiated last year would be continued, Xinhua news agency reported. — AFP

German growth to dip:

BERLIN: The German government is set to revise downwards slightly its growth forecast for the current year from 1.7 per cent to 1.6 per cent, the dailies Bild and Berliner Zeitung reported on Monday. The newspapers said they had access to the government’s annual economic report, scheduled to be published on Wednesday, which contains Berlin’s latest updated economic forecasts. — AFP

Fiat, GM auto deal delayed:

MILAN: The Italian industrial group Fiat said on Monday it would keep searching for an agreement with US partner General Motors on the troubled Fiat Auto division rather than try to push through a forced sale. Fiat said it would wait to exercise its right to sell the ailing auto unit to GM, allowing mediation talks that began on December 16 to run until February 1.— AFP

Stock trading duty cut:

SHANGHAI: Chinese regulators said they will halve stock trading duties as of Monday in the latest bid to boost a stock market currently flagging at five-year lows. Stock-transaction taxes will be reduced to 0.1 per cent from 0.2 per cent, the seventh time the tax has been adjusted since 1990, the Ministry of Finance said on its website. — AFP