Senators Seek Review of Chinese Firm's Bid

Two U.S. senators have asked Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez to review whether inexpensive loans a state-run Chinese energy firm obtained to fund its bid for Unocal constitute a breach of China's World Trade Organization commitments. The $7 billion in loans at below-market interest rates Cnooc secured from its state-owned parent subsidizes its $67-a-share cash offer for Unocal by an estimated $10 a share, Sens. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) wrote Gutierrez. Unocal has bid cash and stock valued at $60.51.


Court Approves Tighter Rules on Vitamins

The European Union can introduce common safety regulations for food supplements that contain vitamins and minerals, the 25-nation bloc's highest court ruled. The law to take effect Aug. 1 will block manufacturers of nutritional supplements from making unproven claims that a product can prevent or cure an illness. Under the rules, vitamin packages must provide recommendations for daily dosages and a warning against exceeding the guidelines.


Gazprom Unsure of $7.1 Billion Payment

Gazprom, the world's largest producer of natural gas, said it has no guarantee that the Russian government will pay $7.1 billion for a stake in the company as planned. Gazprom last month transferred a 10.74 percent stake to Rosneftegaz, a company set up by the government last year to secure direct control of the gas producer.


GM to Expand Employee Discount

General Motors said it will extend to Canada a program that offers employee discounts to all customers. GM, which in June was the first carmaker to let U.S. customers pay the same prices for cars and trucks as employees, follows Ford and Chrysler in offering the discount to Canadian buyers.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.