Sun, Aug 06, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

■ Semiconductors
UMC to stash He Jian stake

United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電), the world's second-biggest supplier of made-to-order chips, said on Friday a 15-percent stake given by a Chinese chipmaker would be put into a trust. In a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, UMC said He Jian Technology (Suzhou) Co (和艦科技) noticed the company on Friday that it has put the 15-percent stake in exchange for UMC's assistance into a trust. To help protect the interest of shareholders, UMC said it is "looking for government agencies' administrative direct" in regarding the trust offer. But the Ministry of Economic Affairs said if UMC eventually hopes to include the stake worth of US$1.1 billion in its books, the company still violated the government's regulation as its investment in He Jian did not gain prior government approval.

■ Investment

Millions invested in Thailand

Taiwan businesses funded 35 investment projects with a total value of 7.8 billion baht (US$206.35 million) in Thailand's electronics industry in the first half of this year, according to tallies released yesterday by Thailand's Board of Investment. The investment amount was the fifth-highest after Japan, the US, Singapore and Hong Kong, while the number of projects was the third-highest after Japan and Singapore. Board officials attributed the increased Taiwanese investment to delegations organized by the Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturer's Association (電電公會) and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (外貿協會) to Thailand.

■ Internet

Google inks AP tie-up

Google, which has been locked in copyright disputes with several content providers, has struck a deal to buy news stories and photographs from the US agency Associated Press. The AP said Google had agreed to pay for its text and photos, but neither company would disclose terms of the business relationship. In a statement received on Friday, the AP said the Google deal was the latest of a series of agreements with online operations "for use of selected portions of our content."

■ Automobiles

Toyota settles suit

Toyota Motor Corp, the world's second-largest automaker, reached a settlement with an employee who had accused its former North American chief executive officer of sexual harassment. Terms of the agreement with Sayaka Kobayashi, 42, who was an assistant to CEO Hideaki Otaka, aren't being disclosed, Steve Curtis, a New York-based Toyota spokesman, said on Friday. Kobayashi previously sought damages of as much as US$210 million from New York-based Toyota Motor North America and the parent company in Japan.

■ Retail

Japanese firm eyes Giordano

Giordano International Ltd, a Hong Kong-based retailer that operates 1,422 clothing stores in Asia, said its Japanese rival Fast Retailing Co has expressed interest in the company. Tokyo-listed Fast Retailing, Asia's largest clothing retailer, hasn't made an offer and hasn't indicated any firm intention to make an offer, Giordano said in a statement yesterday. Trading in the shares of the company, suspended on Friday, will resume tomorrow. Fast Retailing, owner of Japan's Uniqlo discount clothing stores, is seeking to strengthen its international presence.

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