Sun, May 07, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

AGENCIES

■ Electronics
Hon Hai head selling shares

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) is seeking to sell 7 million of his shares in the nation's largest electronics exporter, according to stock exchange data. Gou, the nation's second-richest person, on Friday applied to the Taiwan Stock Exchange to sell the shares on the spot market, based on statistics published on the stock exchange's Web site. No details were disclosed on the selling price. The proposed sale will be worth NT$1.61 billion (US$51 million), based on Hon Hai's NT$229.50 closing share price on Friday. Shares of Hon Hai have risen 28 percent this year compared with a 13 percent gain in the nation's benchmark TAIEX in the same period. Gou holds 635 million Hon Hai shares, according to the exchange statistics. That's worth NT$146 billion based on Friday's closing share price. Gou is selling Hon Hai shares to raise money to pay taxes, the Chinese-language Commercial Times reported yesterday, without saying where it got the information. Gou last applied to sell 80 million Hon Hai shares in July 2004, the Taipei-based newspaper said.

■ Technology

Chinese robot gets personal

China has manufactured its first "personal robot" that can provide services at home and, among other skills, log on to the Internet and tell its owners the news and weather, Xinhua news agency said on Friday. Liangliang (亮亮), standing at about 80cm, is able to walk and navigate obstacles at ease, as well as perform tasks as instructed by humans. Its developer, the Shenyang-based Xinsong Automation Co, affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said the robot cold "provide services of education, entertainment and security" and act as a personal assistant, Xinhua said. "In the presentation debut, a staffer sent a mobile phone short message to the robot inquiring about the situations at home and, in two minutes, Liangliang replied with a message: temperature 22oC and everything normal at home," Xinhua said.

■ Retail

Exxon to sell Borneo outlets

Exxon Mobil plans to sell 28 retail service stations operated by its Malaysian subsidiary on Borneo island to a local company, a news report said yesterday. The oil giant, which has operated in Malaysia for more than 100 years, will continue to run the hundreds of other service stations it owns across the Southeast Asian nation, the Star newspaper said. ExxonMobil Borneo Sdn Bhd, an Exxon subsidiary, has accepted an offer from TCH Enterprise Sdn Bhd to buy its retail service stations and operate them as an Esso-branded distributor, the Star quoted a spokesman as saying. The report did not say why Exxon was selling the stations or the sale price, and the group could not be reached for comment yesterday.

■ Beverages

Pepsi settles with water rival

PepsiCo Inc has agreed to change the look of its SoBe Life Water drink to settle a lawsuit brought by a company which promotes itself as a pioneering nutrient-enhanced water maker, it was announced on Friday. Energy Brands, which does business as Glaceau, had sued PepsiCo, the parent of the beverage maker Pepsi Cola, saying the look of the SoBe Life Water product was vastly similar to its own Vitaminwater brand. In the lawsuit, Energy Brands said PepsiCo launched its product with similar ingredients, color, sweetener type and calorie content only after first trying to acquire the Vitaminwater brand earlier this year.

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