Briefs, January 19, 2013

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 January, 2013, 5:12am


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Bad loans at Spain's banks hit new record

The mountain of bad loans held by Spain's banks grew to a new record in November, with more than one in nine at risk of not being repaid. The level of doubtful loans - mostly for real estate - reached 11.38 per cent of total loans, up from 11.23 per cent in October, the Bank of Spain said yesterday. It was the highest level since existing records began in 1962. AFP


China adds to reserves of oil, gas, minerals

China discovered more than 1.4 billion tonnes of new proven oil reserves last year, its third-highest annual haul ever, while its proven reserves of natural gas rose by a record of nearly 900 billion cubic metres over the year, the Ministry of Land and Resources said. The country also added more than 7 million tonnes of copper reserves and nearly 400 million tonnes of bauxite, an aluminium ore, over the year. Coal resources increased by 132 billion tonnes, gold resources by 604 tonnes, and iron ore resources by 5.4 billion tonnes. Reuters


Sharp slows production of iPad screens to crawl

Sharp has nearly halted production of 9.7-inch screens for Apple's iPad, two sources said, as demand shifts to its smaller iPad mini. Sharp's iPad screen production line at its Kameyama plant in Japan has fallen to the minimal level to keep the line running this month after a gradual slowdown began at the end of last year as Apple manages its inventory, the industy sources with knowledge of Sharp's production plans said. Reuters


Renault to build Nissan cars in France: minister

Renault chief executive Carlos Ghosn has agreed to build cars in France for alliance partner Nissan, French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said. Montebourg said in a radio interview that Ghosn, who heads both carmakers, had confirmed the plan. But Renault, which is 15 per cent government-owned and holds 43.4 per cent of Nissan, said it had not yet made a decision. Reuters


Ex-HKEx chief joins Cheung Kong board

Property developer Cheung Kong and its conglomerate subsidiary Hutchison Whampoa both appointed Charles Lee Yeh-kwong, former chairman of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, as a non-executive director yesterday. He will be paid an annual fee of HK$120,000 by each of the firms. Enoch Yiu