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Nissan to Build Two Infiniti Models in China

Japanese auto giant Nissan said Friday it would build two models of its luxury Infiniti brand in China from 2014, as it looks to further tap the world's biggest car market.

The firm has said it is aiming to boost sales of the cars to half a million units globally by 2016, up from 145,000 last year when it was produced in Japan and the United States.

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BRICS Ready to Flex Muscles At G20-IMF Meet

China and the BRICS emerging economies are set to flex their muscles as the top finance officials of the G20 and the IMF meet Friday seeking to raise $400 billion to prevent financial contagion.

Having already rolled back the goal for new crisis intervention funds from $500 billion, the International Monetary Fund remained some $80 billion short going into Friday's meetings in Washington.

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EU Approves J&J Takeover of Synthes

The European Commission approved Thursday a takeover of the U.S. surgical equipment company Synthes by pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson in exchange for J&Js divestment of other units.

The acquisition was said to be worth around $21.3 billion or 16.2 billion euros.

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Ford Plans $760M Assembly Plant in East China

Ford Motor Co. plans to build a $760 million auto assembly plant in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, part of a doubling of its production capacity in the world's biggest vehicle market as it strives to catch up with rivals.

The investment in the factory with joint-venture partner Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Limited will add annual capacity of 250,000 vehicles when it begins operations in early 2015, the company said Thursday.

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Iran Oil Sales to European Countries Not Halted

Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Ghassemi said on Thursday that oil sales to Germany, Greece and Spain had not been halted as reported by state media last week.

"We are still selling oil to all of Europe except Britain and France," Ghassemi told a press conference.

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UNDP: Arab Energy Subsidies Waste Billions

Arab countries are wasting tens of billions of dollars on subsidies for petrol and energy but dare not roll them back for fear of a political backlash, a U.N. report said.

The U.N. Development Program (UNDP) report this week said six of the world's 10 biggest subsidizers are in the Arab world, led by Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. People in the three countries pay less than a third of world prices for car fuel and electricity.

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World Bank Suspends Programs in Guinea-Bissau

The World Bank and the African Development Bank have suspended development programs in Guinea-Bissau to protest an April 12 army coup that ousted the government.

The two organizations said they joined the African Union and the ECOWAS regional bloc in "condemning the military coup in Guinea-Bissau, urging a speedy resolution of the crisis, and calling for the restoration of constitutional government to preserve the development gains of the country."

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Starbucks Plans to Expand in China

American giant Starbucks plans to heavily invest in expansion in China as the local population starts to embrace the coffee culture, the company's Asia Pacific president said Wednesday.

"We see opportunities for many, many more stores in China," John Culver told journalists.

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IMF: Protests, Uncertainty Dampen Mideast Economies

Growth in the Middle East and North Africa took a dive in 2011 because of the Arab Spring protests and resulting political upheaval, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the region, stretching from Iran to Mauritania, grew by 3.5 percent last year, down from a healthy 4.9 percent in 2010, the IMF said in its World Economic Outlook.

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Report: Pfizer Nears $9 bn Deal with Nestle

U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is close to reaching a $9 billion deal to sell its infant nutrition business to Nestle, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal said Nestle, the Swiss food giant, had apparently beaten out Groupe Danone and Mead Johnson Nutrition, which had considered a joint bid for the business, and that the final deal could be announced next week.

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