Towel exports fall :

BIRATNAGAR: The eastern development region exported 76,97,152 pieces of cotton towels worth over Rs 111.86 million to Australia, Canada, Netherlands, Poland, Belgium and the US in the fiscal year 2005-06. According to Trade Promotion Centre, Biratnagar, this figure shows a decline in the export of cotton towels by Rs 1.37 million compared to the preceding fiscal year. In the last fiscal year, the region had exported cotton towels worth over Rs 125.57 million. — RSS

Tata, Joekels ink pact :

MUMBAI: Tata Tea, India’s largest tea manufacturer and the world’s second largest branded tea company, on Thursday signed a deal to acquire 33 per cent of South Africa’s third largest tea producer Joekels Tea packers. Tata Tea, which already has a presence in South Africa through its subsidiary, the Tetley Group. Besides, the group already has a major presence in the country in businesses like automobiles, steel, telecom and hotels among others. — HNS

FDI dips in S Korea :

SEOUL: Foreign investment in South Korea is set to decline for a second straight year. In the first nine months of this year, FDI fell by 2.3 per cent to $7.5 billion from the same period

a year earlier. The downturn marks a reversal of fortunes for a market that was once a darling of foreign investors. — AP

ECB plans rate hike :

PARIS: The European Central Bank (ECB) sat down to its regular monthly policy-setting meeting here on Thursday, with financial markets unanimous that the ECB was set to raise rates for the fifth time in 10 months to keep a lid on inflation in the 12-country eurozone. — AFP

S’pore trade mark row :

SINGAPORE: Will that be MacCoffee or McCafe? Singapore’s High Court has ruled that a Singapore firm’s instant coffee mix brand is similar to the ‘McCafe’ name operated by US fast food giant McDonald’s Corp and so rejected an attempt to register ‘MacCoffee’ as a trademark. In a judgment, the Justice denied Future Enterprises Pte Ltd’s appeal of a decision by the Principal Assistant Registrar of Trade Marks, who had allowed McDonald’s opposition to registration of the ‘MacCoffee’ name. — AFP