TRADE

U.S. Appeals Lumber Finding

The United States appealed a finding by a World Trade Organization panel that it did not comply with the WTO's rulings in a long-running lumber dispute with Canada, trade officials said.

The appellate panel will rule within three months. If it upholds the assessment that the United States failed to comply with WTO rules, Canada could impose penalties. Ottawa wants $168.2 million in the dispute, which centers on Canadian claims that the United States disregarded decisions made by the WTO last year, when U.S. import duties on Canadian lumber were judged too high.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

Novartis May Raise Chiron Offer

Analysts said Novartis probably will raise its $4.5 billion cash offer for Chiron, a U.S. vaccine maker recovering from a manufacturing shutdown, by at least $500 million after the Emeryville, Calif.-based company rejected the initial offer as inadequate. The Basel, Switzerland-based drug manufacturer already has a 42.2 percent interest in Chiron.

YEMEN

Halliburton Unit to Build Gas Plant

Halliburton said its Kellogg, Brown and Root engineering and construction arm received a contract valued at more than $2 billion to build Yemen's first liquefied natural gas plant. Yemen LNG awarded the contract to KBR and its joint venture partners, Paris-based Technip and JGC Corp. of Japan. KBR said the plant will be built in the port of Balhaf on the southern coast of Yemen.

ENTERTAINMENT

Disney Licenses Music to EMI

Walt Disney Co.'s Buena Vista Music Group signed a licensing deal with EMI Music for Britain, continental Europe, South Africa and the Middle East. The deal will allow EMI to release the full Disney catalogue of music. EMI has already scheduled the release of the soundtracks to the upcoming film "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and the TV series "Desperate Housewives" for later this year.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.

U.S. duties on lumber from Canada caused a trade rift between the two nations. The United States appealed a ruling in Canada's favor.