IMF delay gold sale

WASHINGTON: The IMF has delayed a board meeting to discuss financial reform, including the possible sale of some of its valuable gold reserves. “The current plan is to have a board discussion on the Fund income position in late July,” IMF spokesman said. In early June, another spokesman had said an initial board meeting to work on an income model ‘will take place later this month.’ — AFP

Japan talks more FTAs

TOKYO: Japan must step up free trade talks with other Asian nations to avoid missing out on the economic benefits of regional integration. Asia is the world’s fastest growing region and Japan cannot afford to miss out on moves to reinforce trading ties. For that purpose, we need to strengthen economic partnerships. Japan has been implementing economic partnership agreements, but the pace is still very slow. — AFP

Crude prices flat

SINGAPORE: Oil prices turned flat in Asian trade on Wednesday as the market waited for the weekly US energy report where expectations are for a further rise in petroleum reserves. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for August delivery, was down to $67.76 a barrel from its close of $67.77 in late US trades. — AFP

Fed to hold rates

WASHINGTON: Keeping inflation under control as the US economy emerges from a yearlong sluggish spell is certain to be a matter of lively debate for Federal Reserve policymakers. Fed chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues open a two-day long meeting on Wednesday, where the economy’s current and future performance will be assessed. — AP

WB grant for P’pines

MANILA: The World Bank (WB) has approved $57 million in assistance to help protect and manage the Philippines’ environmental resources. It would help ‘carry out its priority activities to meet its mandates. — AFP

Shikhar’s new shop

KATHMANDU: Shikhar Shoe on Wednesday opened its franchise showroom at Baudha Tusal, near Hyatt hotel. “It offers all available products of the company,” states a press release. The company has showrooms in New Road, Bhotahity, Butwal, New Baneshwor, Narayanghat, Dhanghadi, Dang, Mahendra Nagar, Biratnagar and Itahari. — HNS

Google moves court

San Francisco: Google has asked a US court to extend anti-trust vigilance on rival Microsoft, less than a week after Microsoft agreed to change desktop search in Windows Vista in response to a complaint from Google. Google asked US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly to

extend anti-trust oversight when it expires after an agreed four years in November. It also asked the court to force Microsoft to beef up the user’s ability to choose competing search companies’ functions when conducting a search using Windows Vista operating system — a key bone of contention between the two companies. “The remedies won by the Department of Justice and state attorneys general from Microsoft are a positive step. — DPA