Malaysian economy up

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the economy will beat the official forcast of 6.5 per cent growth for 2004 on the back of the economic recovery in key trading partner Japan. “If we continue to register high growth for the next quarter, we expect that growth will be beyond what we estimated,” PM told some 150 business leaders. — AP

Honda, Lifan trade row

SHANGHAI: Honda Motor Co is entangled in another trademark violation case with Chongqing Lifan Industry Group, the largest privately-owned motorcyle producer in China, reports said on Friday. It is also up against the Shanghai Wenan Motorcycle Co, a retailer. Honda accused the two defendants of producing and selling motorcyles that carry the trademark “SOR,” which it claims is similar to the company registered trademark “SCR,”. — AP

Philippines exports rise

MANILA: Philippine merchandise exports rose 8.9 per cent from a year earlier to $2.97 billion in April, the government said. Exports for the four months to April were up 6.9 per cent from a year earlier to $12.16 billion, the National Statistics Office said. In March, exports rose 7.1 per cent to $3.35 billion. In April, electronics exports grew 4.2 per cent to $1.96 billion, with semiconductors down 2.4 per cent $1.31 billion. — AP

Vietnam approves subway

HANOI: Vietnamese prime minister Phan Van Khai has given the green light to the construction of two subway lines in Ho Chi Minh City, which are estimated to cost over $800 million. Khai has also ordered city authorities to prepare a final blueprint for the metro system following an initial pre-feasibility study by a German consultancy, a transport department official said. — AP

Citigroup in Chinese JV

SHANGHAI: Regulators have approved an insurance joint venture between The Travelers Insurance Co, part of Citigroup Inc, and a Chinese insurer, amid the US banking giant’s push into China’s nascent financial services industry. Travelers Insurance will hold a 50 per cent stake in the venture, with the remaining half to be held by local partner Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd, Citigroup said in a statement. — AFP

Telecom show in HK

GENEVA: Telecom World, an international trade show for telecommunications, will move to Hong Kong in 2006 after three decades in Geneva, a UN spokesman said. The International Telecommunication Union, the UN agency which runs the fair, said it had decided to follow the recommendation of its advisory board and move the conference-exhibition. — AFP