Taiwan Sugar to buy U.S. corn, soybean
Taiwan Sugar Corp., a state-owned agricultural and livestock company, issued a tender today to buy 23,000 metric tons of U.S. No. 2 yellow corn and 12,000 tons of U.S. No. 2 yellow soybean.
Suppliers have been asked to submit offers by tomorrow in Taipei, according to the company's tender notice to suppliers, a copy of which was faxed to Bloomberg News.
The cargo of corn and soybean will be shipped between January 21 and February 4 from the U.S. Gulf or February 5 and February 19 from the Pacific Northwest.
Railway boosts Tibet
A railway linking Tibet with China's densely populated east has helped push the Himalayan region's economic growth to a 10-year high, state media said yesterday.
The region expects its economy to expand 13.2 percent this year, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing local government statistics.
The July opening of a railway from the Tibetan capital Lhasa to neighboring Qinghai province is believed to be "the key factor" in promoting development this year, according to Xinhua.
The 1,142-kilometer track climbs a peak of 5,072 meters above sea level, making it is the highest railway in the world.
Beijing sees the rail line as an important tool in modernizing and developing Tibet, which has been part of China since Chinese troops occupied the region in 1950.
Oil tycoon detained
The chairman of a Chinese private oil company association has been detained for suspected economic crimes, a company controlled by the tycoon said yesterday.
Gong Jialong, chairman of the Great United Petroleum Holding Co., was detained by police amid an investigation into unspecified economic crimes, Tianfa Petroleum Co. said in an announcement posted on the Web site of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
The notice said authorities had taken "coercive measures" against Gong, who is Tianfa's biggest shareholder.
Tianfa, one of China's biggest private oil corporations, said the company's operations were not affected by Gong's situation.
No decision on prices
Negotiations between Belarus and Russia's gas giant Gazprom on a steep price increase ended without agreement yesterday, Gazprom said, as the clock ticked down on a New Year deadline for Belarus to accept the rise.
"Unfortunately, negotiations in fact ended without a result," spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said on Vesti 24 television.
Gazprom has threatened to stop deliveries to Belarus on January 1 if the ex-Soviet republic refuses a more than doubling of the price it now pays for Russian gas.
However, Kupriyanov assured that western European clients would not be affected by the row, which is similar to a crisis between Gazprom and Ukraine at the start of 2006, in which supplies were temporarily cut to Ukraine, with a knock-on effect through the European Union.
Kuoni sells 5%
Investment group Richelieu Finance said yesterday that it had bought about 5 percent of Swiss travel and tour company Kuoni and might acquire more.
Richelieu Finance owns 26.4 percent of the hotel and holiday group Club Mediterranee.
The head of Richelieu Finance, Gerard Augustin-Normand, told AFP: "It was an interesting opportunity for us because shares in Kuoni are under-valued."
Augustin-Normand said shares in Kuoni were attractive because the travel and tourism sector in Europe was undergoing consolidation and Kuoni "might be able to find partners."