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Tue, Nov 26, 2002 - Page 12 News List

World business quick take


Creditors to talk bailout

Hynix Semiconductor Inc's major creditors will meet tomorrow to discuss a possible third bailout in two years for the world's third-largest maker of computer memory chips. Korea Exchange Bank, Woori Bank, Citibank NA and other creditors will be advised by Deutsche Bank AG to swap 1.85 trillion won (US$1.5 billion) of debt into shares and delay payment on the rest, the Maeil Business Newspaper reported yesterday. The banks, owed 6.2 trillion won, own 67 percent of the chipmaker after swapping debt for shares in June and have refused to lend it new money. Yet shuffling the existing debt may not be enough to keep the chipmaker in business, some analysts say. "Even with a debt write-off, Hynix needs more money if it wants to upgrade its facilities and remain competitive," said Koo Hee-jin, an analyst at LG Investment & Securities Co.


Pay package withdrawn

Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline is to withdraw its controversial ?20 million (US$32 million) pay package for chief executive Jean-Pierre Garnier, after a storm of protests from shareholders. The company will hold discussions this week and is expected to shelve the deal for now, though it is expected to be revived at some point. Garnier, who is based in the US, made ?6 million last year and is already one of the best paid chief executives of a British company. The disclosure of the scale of his demand has provoked calls for the government to regulate top pay. A survey published yesterday by the BBC shows that three-quarters of the public think that directors of large British companies are paid too much while two thirds says business leaders cannot be trusted to tell the truth.


Slump set to continue

A Singapore study of the battered Internet sector pointed yesterday to a recovery two and a half years after the global technology slump. The poll by online unit trust distributor Fundsupermart.com suggests that Internet-related companies are poised to bounce back, though many financial analysts remain sceptical about the prospects for dotcoms. In its survey of 22 Internet companies including Amazon.com, eBay, Yahoo and Priceline, Fundsupermart.com noted that these companies were now registering operating profits. The companies had previously been incurring quarterly losses of around US$450 million for years, it noted. "Furthermore, the profits look set to continue increasing, given that sales are re-accelerating," The Straits Times quoted Fundsupermart.com executive chairman Lim Chung-chun as saying.


Chohung records stolen

South Korea may punish Chohung Bank's management and labor union after bank workers stole bank documents, making it more difficult for potential buyers of the country's fourth-largest lender to evaluate its worth. The government earlier said it must delay the bidding process by a week to the first week of December because four bidders were interrupted in examining the bank's finances. "Those who are responsible should be punished," said Byeon Yang-ho, director-general of finance policy at the Finance Ministry. ``We are discussing timing and methods for the penalties.''


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