S Korea, Qatar ink deal

SEOUL: South Korea said Wednesday it has signed a 20-year contract to buy 2.1 million tons of liquefied natural gas per year from Qatar. Korea Gas Corp, the world’s biggest LNG buyer, will receive the shipment from Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas from 2007 through 2026, the commerce, industry and energy ministry said. The deal, agreed Tuesday during President Roh Moo-Hyun’s visit to Doha, “will greatly help stabilise the LNG supply to our country where demand continues to rise,” it said in a statement. — AFP

Porsche bids for VW

FRANKFURT: Porsche, the German maker of luxury sports cars, officially launched a mandatory takeover offer for Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest car maker, on Wednesday. But the price appeared low, suggesting that Porsche did not really want the bid to succeed. Stuttgart-based Porsche, which has raised its stake in VW to 30.94 per cent, said in a short statement that it would offer to buy all the remaining shares in the car maker at 100.92 euros (134 dollars) apiece, as required by law. — AFP

British economy rises

LONDON: The British economy grew by 2.8 per cent in 2006, which was faster than last month’s estimate of 2.7 per cent, official data showed on Wednesday. British gross domestic product grew by 0.7 per cent during the fourth quarter of 2006 from the third quarter, the

Office for National Statistics added in its third and final estimate. The latest estimate was a slight downward revision from the previous estimate of 0.8 per cent. — AFP

Skoda outlet in China

BEIJING: Volkswagen unit Skoda Auto has opened a dealership in China’s Hebei, the province

around Beijing, the Czech car maker said Wednesday. A comany statement said it would open 40 more sales outlets across China in the coming few weeks. The new dealership, in Hebei’s capital Shijiazhuang, is Skoda’s first in China. Licensed production of Skoda cars

will also start at Shanghai Volkswagen in the middle of the year, the statement said. — AFP

Zen Estilo rally held

KATHMANDU: Arun Intercontinental Traders, the authorised distributor of Maruti-Suzuki cars in Nepal, organised a rally and road show of its new improved version of Zen Estilo. The rally that began at Tripureswar went through major city centres. The new version of the compact car comes with major facelifts in elegance and style, states a press release issued by Arun Intercontinental Traders. The company has announced a plan for its formal launch very shortly. — HNS

Nepal at Moscow fair

KATHMANDU: Nepal, under the aegis of Nepal Tourism Board along with two Nepali private companies, Avia Club Nepal Pvt Ltd and South Asian Holidays Pvt Ltd, participated in the 14th Moscow International Travel and Tourist Exhibition ( MITT) from March 21 to 24. The fair was participated in by more than 2,700 companies from 110 different countries, informed an NTB press release here. The forum pavilion featured international companies, hotels, airline companies and tourism departments from the South-Eastern Asia, Middle East and Africa. — HNS

Cell phones disrupted

DAMAULI: Mobile service in Tanahun district has been disrupted for three days. Local businessmen, media professionals and other people have been affected following disruption in mobile phone services. According to Nepal Telecom, Tanahun office, mobile phone service could not operate smoothly as the problem was not identified. There are 20,000 pre-paid and post-paid mobile phone users in Tanahun district. — RSS