Sun, Oct 30, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

AGENCIES

■ Politic
DPP asks Kong to resign

The legislative caucus of Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party asked Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Kong Jaw-sheng (龔照勝) to resign, the Economic Daily News reported, citing caucus leader Chen Chin-jun (陳景峻). Lawmakers said Kong should step down after a former head of market regulation was indicted in a case related to insider trading, the Taipei-based newspaper said. Lee Chin-chen (李進誠), who was head of the Financial Examination Bureau before being transferred to a non-administrative post in July, resigned after a prosecutor recommended the Taipei district court sentence him to eight years in prison, the commission said in a statement Oct. 26. The commission, modeled on financial regulators in Japan and the UK, oversees banks, insurers and securities firms. Kong has been chairman of the commission since the financial watchdog was established on July 1 last year.

■ Automobiles

Ford expands in India

Ford Motor Co said on Friday it would invest US$75 million to expand its operations in India, where it plans to launch a new model each year. The company's Indian subsidiary is also rapidly expanding its dealership network across the country, which along with China, will be Ford's fastest growing markets worldwide, the company said. The new investment will "support the aggressive growth strategy we have in place," Arvind Mathew, managing director and president of Ford India, said in a statement. Ford runs a car factory in the southern city of Madras, with a capacity to make 100,000 cars a year and employing 1,800 people. It has so far invested US$375 million in the factory. Ford India sold 27,000 cars in 2004 and expects sales to rise 10 percent in 2005.

■ Technology

Sony to cut US$648m

Sony Corp, the world's second-biggest consumer electronics maker, plans to cut costs by 75 billion yen (US$648 million) by March 2008 by reorganizing its business, Chief Financial Officer Nobuyuki Oneda said at an investors meeting in Tokyo. Sony will cut costs by 48 billion yen in the year to March 2007, and 27 billion yen in the year to March 2008, Oneda said. Sony Chief Executive Officer Howard Stringer on Sept. 22 announced a revitalization plan to eliminate 10,000 jobs and forecast its first loss in more than a decade. Sony aims to cut its workforce 6.6 percent by March 2008 and shut 11 factories. Sony estimates to post an annual loss of 10 billion yen in the year ending in March 2006, for the first time since 1995.

■ Telecoms

Takeovers left in limbo

Federal regulators failed to reach agreement on Friday on whether to approve SBC Communications' takeover of AT&T, and Verizon Communications' purchase of MCI. The Federal Communications Commission met through the day but could not agree on what conditions, if any, should be attached to the deals. Another meeting was set for tomorrow. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, who supports the mergers, has pressed for no conditions at all. He needs backing by at least one of the two Democratic commissioners on the four-member panel to get a majority. The negotiations come a day after the Justice Department gave its blessing to the acquisitions, with limited conditions. Those requirements fall short of the asset sales in overlapping areas that SBC and Verizon rivals and consumer advocates had wanted to ensure healthy competition.

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