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Chinese Energy Companies Record Higher Profit


Top energy companies in China - one of the world's fastest-growing energy markets - are posting strong earnings. And the Philippines gets a boost from a credit rating upgrade.

China National Offshore Oil Corporation, CNOOC, says its oil wells - both in China and abroad - are producing more crude oil.

CNOOC Chairman Fu Chengyu says rising output, especially from its South China Sea projects, has contributed to greater revenues.

"For the first nine months of 2006, oil and gas revenue increased by 36.4 percent from the same period last year," Fu said.

Profit rose 25 percent to $2.3 billion in the three months ending in September compared to the same period last year.

The Chinese company Sinopec, Asia's biggest oil refiner, says year-on-year profit jumped more than 50 percent, to $1.6 billion , for the three months ending in September. The state-owned company says the increase resulted from strong demand and high oil prices.

In another development in China's energy sector, Malaysia's largest energy company, Petronas, has reached a 25-year deal to supply three million metric tons of liquefied natural gas to Shanghai LNG Company. Petronas says the contract is worth $25 billion at current prices.

The international credit ratings agency, Moody's, has raised the Philippines economic outlook to "stable" from "negative." Moody's says the upgrade reflected improvements made by the Philippine government in narrowing the country's fiscal deficit. A higher credit rating advises investors that the risk of the Philippine government defaulting on its loans has been reduced.

Singapore's Creative Technology, meanwhile, has been left with $21 million loss in the three months ending in September, due to slower sales of its digital entertainment products.

In August, Apple agreed to pay a $100 million, one-time licensing payment to Creative to settle a patent dispute over the technology used in the Ipod. But that payment was not made until October, after the reporting period was over.

Creative has been struggling to keep its share in the digital music player market against the more popular Apple Ipods, despite being a pioneer in the digital music technology.

Japan's Mazda Motor Corporation says sales of its vehicles in Europe and the United States increased in the six months ending in September. However, sales in China and Japan dropped. Overall, profit fell 13 percent from a year earlier.

Japan's second largest airline, All Nippon Airways (ANA), says profit jumped 69 percent in the six months ending in September because of increased passenger numbers. ANA says income reached $283 million.

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