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Business in Asia Today -- Oct. 10, 2002.

SYDNEY, Australia -- A summary prepared by Asia Pulse (http://www.asiapulse.com/), the real-time, Asia-based wire with exclusive news, market intelligence and business opportunities:

DHL ACQUIRES 30 PCT STAKE IN CATHAY SUBSIDIARY AIR HONG KONG

HONG KONG - DHL Worldwide Express has acquired a 30 per cent stake in Cathay Pacific's formerly wholly-owned subsidiary, Air Hong Kong. Under the agreement, Air Hong Kong will now purchase a fleet of mid-range, wide-body aircraft to operate and enhance DHL's network to the major cities in the Asia Pacific region from the airline's base at Hong Kong International Airport. Air Hong Kong plans to buy five freighter aircraft by 2004, and to acquire a fleet of at least eight aircraft by 2010. An initial investment of about US$300 million will be committed to the venture before 2004 and a further US$100 million by 2010.

AIS THAILAND, NOKIA SIGN US$40 MLN TELECOM DEAL

BANGKOK - Nokia and Advanced Info Service Public Company Limited [AIS] Thailand have signed a US$40 million agreement for mobile network expansion to support voice and non-voice communications. Nokia will provide a GSM network expansion to AIS in response to increasing demand in voice and non-voice usage. The network expansion will allow AIS, holder of the highest telecom market share in Thailand, to handle the increasing number of GSM subscribers. AIS will also satisfy the demand for communication services currently being launched, such as games, a message service and internet access. Delivery and installation of the network expansion is expected to be completed by the end of 2002.

MALAYSIA'S AUGUST NATURAL RUBBER PRODUCTION UP 8.9 PCT YR-ON-YR

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia produced 54,583 tonnes of natural rubber [NR] in August 2002, down 1.1 per cent from the preceding month, the Statistics Department said. Compared with August 2001, NR production shot up by 4,475 tonnes (+8.9 per cent). Cumulative production for January-August 2002 amounted to 376,684 tonnes increased by 15,805 tonnes (+4.4 per cent) when compared with the same period in 2001. The department said that in August this year, 46,576 tonnes (85.3 per cent) came from the smallholding sector while the estate sector produced the remaining 8,007 tonnes (14.7 per cent).

CONVERGENT COMM INDIA & NOVATEL WIRELESS SIGN AGREEMENT

BANGALORE - Convergent Communications India, a Bangalore-based networking software provider, and the Nasdaq listed Novatel Wireless, Inc. have signed an agreement to distribute Novatel's dual-band Merlin G201 GSM/GPRS Wireless PC Card Modem. India is the 18th country in which Novatel Wireless is expanding its distribution network. According to Merrill Lynch, India boasts a cellular subscriber base of over 7.6 million. This expanding market has grown by more than 70 per cent since last year, with net additions of over 350,000 in recent months.

UNIT OF SINGAPORE'S KS TECH BUYS THAI CO FROM LINDETEVES-JACOBERG

SINGAPORE - KS Tech Ltd announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Scott & English (2002) Pte Ltd [S&E], has agreed to acquire all the issued and paid up shares in the capital of Lindeteves Thailand Limited [LTL]. LTL, a company incorporated in Thailand, is owned by Lindeteves-Jacoberg Limited . Upon completion of the agreement, LTL will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of S&E. S&E will pay a consideration of baht 20,687,000 (US$473,198), which represents the net tangible asset of LTL.

JAPAN'S TAKARA TO BUY ELECTRIC HEATER MANUFACTURER FROM MITSUI

TOKYO - Takara Co. has announced that it will purchase electric heater manufacturer Nihon Dennetsu Co., a Nagano Prefecture wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsui & Co. . Takara will acquire a majority of the shares in Nihon Dennetsu by the end of November. The toymaker is expected to pay slightly more than two billion yen (US$16.21 million) for the stake. Nihon Dennetsu manufactures consumer goods, such as heated carpets and humidifiers, and commercial-use heaters. It will continue to produce such goods, but it will also collaborate with Takara to develop new home appliances that have entertainment value as well.

KOREAN APPAREL IMPORTS SURGE 32.7 PCT ON YEAR IN JANUARY-AUGUST

SEOUL - Korea's apparel imports from January through August rose to US$1.25 billion, up 32.7 per cent from a year earlier, the Korea apparel industry association said today. The eight-month import figures are 3.7 times the US$340 million registered during the same period in 1998 following the financial crisis. Apparel imports reached a record US$1.29 billion in 1997, but plunged to US$470 million in 1998, then rose again to US$730 million in 1999, US$1.26 billion in 2000 and US$1.56 billion in 2001. In August this year apparel imports reached a monthly record of US$260 million, up 47.4 per cent from the same month of last year.

AUSTRALIA'S WOODSIDE PETROLEUM AWARDS TEMPO US$4 MLN CONTRACT

MELBOURNE - Woodside Petroleum Ltd has awarded Tempo Services Ltd's Group 4 Securitas a A$7.5 million (US$4.09 million) security contract to guard some of its North West Shelf assets. The three year contract includes securing the Karratha Gas plan, the King Bay Supply Basin and the LNG Phase 4 expansion of the North West Shelf project. It is the third major contract awarded this financial year to Group 4 Securitas, a division of Tempo Services. Tempo Services provides a range of cleaning, building and security services in Australia and the United Kingdom.

SINGAPORE'S GDP ESTIMATED TO RISE 3.7 PCT IN Q3 ON YEAR

SINGAPORE - Advance estimates indicate that Singapore's gross domestic product [GDP] in the third quarter 2002 increased by 3.7 per cent, in real terms, over the same period last year, the Trade Ministry said. On an annualised quarter-on-quarter basis, real GDP fell by 10.3 per cent, compared with a growth of 13.2 per cent in the previous quarter. The ministry said the reversal in growth momentum can be attributed mainly to a moderation in activity in the chemicals cluster after the exceptional surge in the second quarter. The goods-producing industries, however, are still expected to register a healthy expansion of 7.8 per cent, supported by the manufacturing sector.

ACCOR, MAHINDRA SELL INDIAN MERCURE HOTELS TO RAMEE INTN'L

BANGKOK - Accor and Mahindra & Mahindra have announced the sale of three Mercure Guestline properties to the Dubai based Ramee International. The sale marks the end of their joint venture franchise agreement for Mercure hotels in India. According to a statement, it is effective immediately and involves the 99-room Mercure Guestline Bangalore, the 91-room Mercure Guestline Mumbai and the 144-room Mercure Guestline Tirupati. With the end of the joint venture, each company has elected to pursue independent development strategies in India.

Asia Pulse Pte Ltd. Each day Asia Pulse creates up to 300 items of news, business opportunities, expert commentary and industry profiles. Asia Pulse is a unique joint venture involving the resources of Asia's major news and information groups:
 (AAP) - AAP Information Services Pty Ltd (Australia)
 (ANTARA) - LKBN ANTARA (Indonesia)
 (CNA) - Central News Agency (Taiwan)
 (IRNA)- Islamic Republic News Agency (Iran)
 (Nikkei) - Nihon Keizai Shimbun Inc (Japan)
 (ONA) - Oman News Agency (Oman)
 (PNA) - Philippines News Agency (Philippines)
 (PPI) - Pakistan Press International (Pakistan)
 (PTI) - The Press Trust of India Ltd (India)
 (Yonhap) - Yonhap News Agency (Korea)
 (VNA) - Vietnam News Agency (Vietnam)
 (XIC) - Xinhua Information Centre (China)


CONTACT: Asia Pulse Production Centre, in Sydney, Australia, +61-29322-8634 or email, http://www.apulse.com/
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Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Oct 10, 2002
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