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US Air Freight Company, FedEx, Moves to China


A U.S. cargo carrier is pulling its regional hub out of the Philippines, while India's number two IT outsourcing company reports continued profit growth.

Fedex says it will close its Asian hub at the former U.S. naval base of Subic in the Philippines. It will replace it with a new facility in Guangzhou in southern China by 2008.

The U.S. air cargo company says the move underscores the importance of the rapidly growing Chinese market. Fedex estimates that air cargo from China to the United States will grow at an average 9.6 percent annually over the next 20 years.

The deal is a blow to Subic, which is trying to attract regional exporters as a regional logistics hub.

Fedex says it will spend $150 million on the new facility at Guangzhou's Baiyun International airport.

In India, Infosys, the country's second largest information technology outsourcing company, continued to show strong growth.

The company said first quarter profit was $122 million, up 37 percent from the same period last year. Revenues from the United States accounted for 64 percent of total revenues.

Nandan Nilekani, Infosys chief executive officer, says the financial results have been "good."

"We've been able to grow in spite of cost increases because of salary costs. In India, it has gone up by 13 to 15 percent, in the U.S. by three percent … We added 36 new clients during the quarter including nine of the Global 500 list," he says.

Mr. Nilekani added that the company forecasts profit growth of between 26 to 27 percent in the current fiscal year.

In South Korea, the world's largest memory chipmaker, Samsung Electronics, said a steep fall in computer chip prices hurt its second quarter profit.

Profit dropped 46 percent to $1.63 billion in the three months ending in June from $3 billion a year earlier. The company says sales of liquid crystal displays or LCDs, which replace old, bulky computer and television screens, helped compensate for some of the drop in memory chip earnings.

In other news, the Asian Development Bank said it has approved a $55 million grant to Afghanistan to improve its transportation infrastructure. The funding is intended for the completion of a 90-kilometer road between the southern Qaisar and northern Bala Murghab areas of Afghanistan.

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