Sun, Apr 24, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Business Quick Take

■ Electronics

Acer denies Siemens tie-up

Acer Inc, the nation's third biggest computer company, isn't in talks with Siemens AG, Germany's largest electronics company, over a mobile-phone tie-up, said Henry Wang, an Acer spokesman. The Taipei-based company has no plans to buy the German company's mobile-phone unit or hire it to make mobile phones, Wang said. "We won't rule out tapping the mobile-phone market, but our core business is computers and that will continue to be our focus," he said. German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on Friday that Acer was in advanced talks with Siemens. Citing people familiar with the situation that it didn't identify, the paper said Acer wasn't the only company in talks with Siemens. The mobile-phone unit of Munich-based Siemens is set to lose 125 million euros (US$163 million) in its fiscal second quarter, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts. A Siemens spokesman declined to comment.

■ Privatization

Land Bank stake to be sold

Taiwan's government plans to sell a 13.5 percent stake in state-run Land Bank of Taiwan (土地銀行) for the listing on the Taiwan Stock Exchange in August, a Chinese-language newspaper reported, citing a Ministry of Finance proposal. The ministry plans to sell a 5.4 percent stake in Land Bank to its workers and 8.1 percent to the public, the report said. Taiwan plans to sell another stake in the lender following its listing to overseas investors, the report said. The government plans to price the shares for at least NT$20 (US$0.63) each, Aaron Chou , head of the Land Bank's planning department said in November.

■ Manufacturing

Forty share dormitory toilet

Operators of a foreign workers' dormitory have been told to clean up by tomorrow or face action after occupants complained 40 men were sharing one toilet and up to 10 were sleeping in rooms the size of bus shelters. The dormitory, housing at least 3,000 workers, is operated by GoldStrong Technology, which can be fined a maximum of S$10,000 (US$6,097) if it does not comply. The dorm became the focus of attention on Friday after Yeo Guat Kwang, chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Manpower, was shut out by GoldStrong management when he went to investigate the complaints of dire living conditions. National Environment Agency rules stipulate that toilets must not be shared by more than 15 people and each worker should have 3m2 of space.

■ Telecoms

Qwest sweetens MCI offer

Qwest Communications International Inc has upped its offer for MCI Inc by US$800 million to fend off a rival offer from Verizon, news reports said on Friday. The new cash-and-stock offer, the third time Qwest has raised its bid, values MCI at US$9.7 billion and breaks down to US$30 per share. It also includes an additional US$1 billion in committed financing to ease concerns about whether the combined company would have the financial resources to compete, Qwest chief executive Richard Notebaert said in a letter to MCI's board. The latest bid, described as Qwest's "best and final," will be withdrawn if it is not declared superior by Virginia-based MCI by 3pm today, he said. The offer came two weeks after the MCI board for the second time accepted an offer from Verizon Communications Inc. Verizon's latest bid was a US$7.5 billion cash-and-stock offer, valued at US$23.10 a share.

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