■ Economic policy
Officials deny debt report
The outstanding debt of the government should be NT$3.429 trillion (US$109.9 billion) by the end of this year, not the inflated figure of NT$11 trillion as the media has reported, officials of the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said yesterday. The officials said at a time when the economy in beginning to recover, but the jobless rate is still high, the government has to adopt an expansion financial policy and engage in major public construction works to promote economic growth. The media report said that according to the overall budget of the government, the deficit will set a new high of NT$257.4 billion this year, or 13 percent higher than the NT$227.8 billion last year. The officials said that if a NT$25 billion relief fund to reimburse growers of agricultural products that have suffered damages from imports is deducted this year, the government's debt growth this year will be only 2 percent, and not 13 percent.
Nissan bails out truck unit
Japanese auto maker Nissan Motor Co is considering extending ¥20 billion (US$175 million) in financial aid to its troubled truck unit, Nissan Diesel, reports said yesterday citing sources familiar with the case. The Nihon Keizai Shimbun separately said the assistance by Nissan, the biggest shareholder of the heavy truckmaker, may swell to ¥25 billion, the Kyodo News agency said. Nissan Diesel is expected to make a formal request for the bail-out in late September, as the same time as it announces a comprehensive rehabilitation program, the news reports said. The aid is line with a broad scheme to salvage the troubled truck maker, which is reportedly seeking ¥100 billion in financial support from its major lenders to help it reduce its roughly ¥390 billion of interest-bearing debts, Kyodo and the Nihon Keizai said.
Shanghai maglev starts run
China's magnetic levitation train has overcome technical worries and is making test runs to Shanghai airport, state media reported yesterday. After making the 30km, eight-minute trip between Shanghai's Longyang Road metro station and Pudong airport on Friday, the train returned to take those sighteseers curious about the German technology for the same ride. The train was to run yesterday and today as well as during the National Day holidays between October 1 and 7. A round trip ticket costs 150 yuan (US$18) or 300 yuan for first class, Xinhua news agency said. The "maglev" train was trialed at the beginning of the year to mark the Chinese New Year but has since experienced electrical problems which prevented it from running. The train, which can attain speeds of 430kph, is expected to be in regular service by next year.
■ Mobile phones
Motorola head resigns
Christopher Galvin, head of mobile phone manufacturer Motorola, has resigned, media reports said yesterday. Galvin, chief executive and chairman of the world's second largest mobile phone maker, announced his decision Friday after the close of trading, citing a difference in opinion with the board of directors over strategies to revamp the company. During Galvin's six year stint at Motorola's helm the company lost its pole position in the mobile manufacturing market to Finnish rival Nokia. Nokia now holds 36 percent of the market while Motorola has 15 percent. Galvin is reported to have clashed with the board of directors over the slow progress Motorola was making in regaining market share.