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Talks Fail Between Korean Carmaker, Uzbek Officials

South Korean President Rho Moo-hyun (right) shakes hands with Uzbek President Islam Karimov in Seoul on March 29 (epa) October 30, 2006 -- Talks have collapsed between the Uzbek government and South Korea's largest carmaker, Hyundai Motor Company, over the purchase of state-owned Uz-Daewoo Auto.

Uzbekistan's state-controlled media say negotiations collapsed over differences on the acquisition price. The AP quotes Hyundai spokesman Jake Jang as saying the talks "totally broke down."

No further details are immediately available.

Hyundai said earlier this month, on October 13, that it was considering buying a controlling stake in Uz-Daewoo Auto, which was formally owned by South Korea's now defunct Daewoo Group.

The company said it could expand the plant's annual production capacity to 300,000 units from a current 200,000.

Hyundai said the purchase could help it penetrate markets in other former Soviet republics.

(, UzReport, AP)

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