Business Briefs

AGENCIES

Sun, Mar 14, 2004 - Page 11

■ Business law
EU to hear GE appeals

Appeals against the European Commission's rejection of General Electric's acquisition of Honeywell in 2001 are expected to be heard in late May, said Louise Binns, a spokeswoman at GE. The European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg has proposed that Honeywell's appeal be heard on May 25 and GE's appeal will be heard two days later. The commission blocked the deal, valued at US$45 billion at the time, because it believed it would harm competition in the market for aircraft parts. GE and Honeywell abandoned the deal, but GE is pursuing the appeal to overturn the commission's ruling in case it pursues another merger.

■ Airlines

Mandarin, EVA lauded

Mandarin Airlines (華信) and EVA Airways Corp (長榮) were lauded Friday by the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) as the top Taiwan-based carriers serving domestic and international routes last year, respectively. According to the results of a survey carried out by the CAA, Mandarin and EVA were given the honor as Taiwan's best airlines, with both scoring a grade much better than 70 points because of their good performance mainly in flight security and passenger service. The two aviation companies will be rewarded with a gold trophy by the CAA.

■ Trade

Zoellick criticizes Taiwan

Taiwan must keep the promises it made under the WTO before the US will even consider negotiating with Taiwan on the signing of a free trade agreement (FTA), US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick said Friday. Zoellick made the remarks when he testified at the House Ways and Means Committee on US FTA negotiations. Congressman Wally Herger posed a question on opening foreign markets such as South Korea and Taiwan to US agricultural products and asked if the US has considered negotiating with these countries. Zoellick noted that the US has continued to talk with Taiwan about implementing the promises it made upon joining the WTO in January 2002. In addition, the US still has views about Taiwan's opening of its rice and telecommunication markets and about intellectual property rights protection.

■ Executives

Legendary grocery man dies

Grant Gentry, an executive who built a reputation for reviving failing supermarket companies, including the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co (A&P) and Food Fair, died March 4 at a hospital in Newport Beach, California. He was 79. Gentry was recruited by Food Fair in 1979 to serve as president and chief executive. At the time, the company was one of the largest retailers to seek bankruptcy protection. With his conservative business practices and attention to detail, Gentry led the company out of bankruptcy protection after two years. Gentry came from humble beginnings and spent much of his youth in foster homes and orphanages. After graduating from high school in Chicago, Gentry joined the Army and volunteered to serve in a paratroopers' unit. During World War II, he was part of a 1945 rescue mission at Los Banos prisoner-of-war camp in the Philippines.

■ Transport

Taipei's vehicles increase

The total number of vehicles registered in Taipei as of the end of January were up to a record high of 1,696,000, according to statistics released yesterday by the Department of Budget, Accounting and Statistics. According to the statistics, 267 cars and 379 motorcycles were owned per 1,000 head of population. Chungshan, Sungshan and Chungcheng districts had the most car owners, while Wanhua had the least. Datong and Wanhua districts, however, had the highest number of motorcycle owners, with Ta-an district having the fewest.