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US Software Giant Buys Indian IT Company

  • Heda Bayron

A U.S. software giant has bought an Indian information technology company, and Hong Kong's railway operator posts strong half-year profits. VOA's Heda Bayron in Hong Kong has this week's summary of business news in Asia.

U.S. software giant Oracle acquired a majority stake in Indian software maker i-flex solutions for about $900 million.

Oracle bought Citigroup's 41 percent stake in the Bombay-listed company and another 20 percent from various shareholders, putting its total shareholding at 61 percent.

I-flex solutions makes a popular software for banks called FLEXCUBE, a product that Oracle President Charles Phillips says would boost his company's influence in the banking software business.

"With Oracle's size and global presence combined with this leading banking software, this is a power combination," he said.

In Hong Kong, the MTR Corporation, the city's mass railway transport operator, more than doubled its profit for the first six months of the year.

MTRC's profit rose to $335 million from $150 million in the same period last year, boosted by a 32 percent profit rise from the company's real estate projects.

Chief executive C.K. Chow says the company is optimistic about further growth, especially with a new train service to Hong Kong Disneyland, which opens next month. But he says international factors could affect growth.

"Obviously there are risks in the economy overall in terms of oil prices, in terms of interest rate movements, in terms of the adjustments of the renminbi of China - these would have an impact on the overall economy of Hong Kong," he said. "But on the assumption that even with all these risks the Hong Kong economy would still be moving forward in the next six months, we believe we will benefit."

Meanwhile, Singapore and South Korea signed a free trade pact lifting tariffs on almost all products over the next 10 years. The deal also covers products made by joint-venture businesses based in North Korea's Kaesong industrial park.

In Burma, China's Gezhouba Water and Power company has signed a $46 million contract with the government to build a hydroelectric dam on the Myitnge River, southwest of Mandalay. The project is expected to generate 3.5 billion kilowatt-hours of power annually.