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In Brief

In Brief

Renault to buy stake in Russian automaker
MOSCOW, Russia
Renault will spend US$1.3 billion for a 25-percent stake in Russia's largest auto firm Avtovaz, a Russian paper reported Tuesday, giving details of the financial package for the first time.
Financial details of the package, signed on December 8, have not been officially divulged.
But anonymous sources from Avtovaz and Troika Capital Partners, which represents a group of investors, said if Avtovaz's total value is put at US$5.3 billion, the French carmaker's quarter share would be around US$1.325 billion.
The paper, Vedomosti, said the French group will pay half the sum in February, then a further 20 percent in June.
Singapore tourism up
SINGAPORE
Singapore received a record number of visitors last month but hotel rates were also at fresh highs, the city-state's tourism authorities said yesterday.
The Singapore Tourism Board said 837,000 visitors arrived in November, the largest number ever for that month.
Average room rates for hotels also set a new milestone of US$156 a night, the highest ever in any month and up almost 30 percent over last year, the board said.
The city-state's hotels earned record room revenues of 175.4 million Singapore dollars, an increase of almost 24 percent from last year, it said.
Visitor arrivals were 4.6 percent higher than a year earlier, fuelled by strong arrivals from China, India and Australia, the board said.
China land grabs
BEIJING, China
Illegal land grabs are threatening food supplies in China as scarce farming land is destroyed to make way for industrial and urban development, a minister was quoted as saying yesterday.
"The illegal acquisition of arable land (for purposes other than agriculture) has endangered food safety and social stability," Land and Resources Minister Xu Shaoshi said, according to the China Daily.
"(But) given the growing population and fast industrialization and urbanization, illegal land acquisition will probably continue."
Business sentiment
TOKYO, Japan
Sentiment among Japan's small and midsize companies, especially in the housing sector, fell to its most pessimistic level in nearly three years in December, a government-affiliated lender said yesterday.
The sales outlook index, which measures the percentage of companies predicting that sales will improve over the next three months minus those saying it will worsen, stood at 6.4 in December from November's 8.9 reading, according to a business sentiment survey by the Japan Finance Corporation for Small and Medium Enterprise.
That's the lowest since January in 2005 when the index had also fallen to 6.4.
Builders, who have been severely hurt by a slowdown in housing starts due to confusion over a law change in June, pushed down overall sentiment, according to the lender.
Cambodia golf course
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia
Cambodia's first PGA-standard golf course will bring in much-needed tourist dollars to the impoverished nation, a company official said yesterday.
Designed by and named after golfing legend Nick Faldo, the "Faldo Course" will be a boost to Cambodia's economy by attracting well-heeled tourists, said Adam Robertson, operations manager at the Angkor Golf Resort.
"By having an internationally acclaimed golf course in Siem Reap, we will now attract golf travellers, who generally have a large disposable income," Robertson told Agence France-Presse.
The 18-hole, 72-par course is located close to the famed Angkor Wat temple, which sits just outside the northeastern town of Siem Reap.


Updated : 2021-02-26 10:02 GMT+08:00