Sun, Jun 11, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Steel

Mittal badmouths Russians

Mittal Steel, the world's biggest steel maker, sought on Friday to highlight the influence that Russian businessman Alexei Mordashov would exert over the future of a merged group comprising European steel group Arcelor and Russia's Severstal. Arcelor and Severstal have plans to merge in what is seen as a defensive move by Arcelor, which is trying to fend off a hostile takeover bid from Mittal Steel. Mittal Steel said that Mordashov, who is the founder and chairman of Severstal, had notified the EU competition services on Friday about his future "decisive influence" over the merged Severstal-Arcelor group. Under the terms of their merger, Arcelor is to buy Severstal in a US$15.3 billion (12.1 billion euro) transaction but Mordashov would end up with a stake of 38 percent in the merged company. "This filing [with the EU competition body] clearly evidences that the Severstal transaction is not an acquisition of control of Severstal by Arcelor, but the acquisition of control of Arcelor by Mordashov," said a spokesman for Mittal.

■ Singapore

Governance ratings released

Singapore has been ranked second only to the US in a survey of corporate governance among the world's key financial centers, said a report on Friday. In the survey, the Hong Kong-based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy ranked 14 economies for their corporate governance. The US was first, followed by Singapore. Japan was third. The rest in descending order were: Britain, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, China and Vietnam. Singapore scored 2.4 overall, and the US scored 2.3. Zero is the best grade, while 10 is the worst.

■ Semiconductors

Intel moves chip date

Intel Corp is moving up the planned shipment date of a computer chip that will compete against one from rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Intel officials told analysts during a conference call on Friday that the company expects to ship its Tulsa chip in the third quarter instead of the fourth quarter. The microprocessor is one of Intel's latest for server systems, one of the markets in which AMD's Opteron chips have made recent gains at Intel's expense. Intel said the launch of another server chip, code-named Woodcrest, will be June 26. The Santa Clara, California-based chip manufacturer also contested some of AMD's earlier claims, saying that Woodcrest performs better and uses less power than the Opteron.

■ Retail

Lacoste sues Silk Alley

French clothing retailer Lacoste is suing Beijing's Silk Alley market, which is popular with tourists, for selling fake shirts bearing its famous crocodile logo, state media reported yesterday. The company is seeking 100,000 yuan (US$12,500) in compensation from the owner of the indoor market, Beijing Xiushui Haosen Clothing Co (秀水豪森服裝), and some of its tenants for trademark infringement, Xinhua news agency reported. "Xiushui Haosen not only failed to stop these tenants from selling counterfeited Lacoste products but also tried to connive with them by providing business premises," Xinhua quoted the indictment as saying. Lacoste could not be reached for comment on Saturday. In November last year, Chanel, Prada, Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Gucci sued Silk Alley and asked for 2.5 million yuan in compensation for allegedly selling fake copies of their products.

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