Marks makes offer
Marks & Spencer Group announced plans yesterday to return ?2.3 billion (US$4.3 billion) to shareholders as part of its defense against aggressive takeover overtures from retail tycoon Philip Green. New chief executive Stuart Rose said the business had "substantial further trading potential, which will be unlocked through a return to the core values of quality, value, service, innovation and trust." The measures are part of a revival plan that comes at a crucial time for the retailer, a household name in Britain, as it tries to persuade shareholders to shun Green's proposal. Last week Marks & Spencer's board of directors rejected a third informal offer from Green, worth ?9.1 billion, as too low.
EU probing Chinese shoes
The EU is likely to launch an investigation against imports of Chinese-made shoes later this year in a bid to protect its manufacturers from soaring Chinese exports, Beijing said yesterday. A complaint has been initiated by Italy and supported by Portugal, Spain and France -- major shoe manufacturing countries in the EU, China's ministry of commerce said in a statement. The EU is collecting data and information in preparation for the case, which is likely to lead to anti-dumping investigations or the imposition of general protective measures.
KorAm strike may end
Workers and management at KorAm Bank, a unit of US financial giant Citigroup, reached a tentative agreement yesterday to end a strike that has crippled South Korea's seventh-largest lender, union leaders said. Some 2,400 KorAm workers who went on strike on June 25 demanding job security, higher wages and independent management were to be asked to vote on the accord, possibly later yesterday. "We reached a tentative agreement at dawn," a union leader said. "We may be able to put it to a vote by all union members later today." The strike shut down nearly 80 percent of KorAm's branches.
NTT DoCoMo makes deal
NTT DoCoMo Inc, the world's second-largest mobile-phone company, and semiconductor maker Renesas Technology Corp will jointly develop a single-chip large-scale integrated circuit to be used in DoCoMo's handsets. DoCoMo will invest about ?7 billion (US$62.9 million) in Renesas over three years to help with building the chips, the company said in a faxed press release. Tokyo-based Renesas is a venture between Mitsubishi Electric Corp and Hitachi Ltd.
Ad agencies shortlisted
Six advertising firms have been shortlisted by Singapore Telecommunications for its multimillion-dollar home-country account, the company said yesterday. Incumbent Leo Burnett is vying for the two-year contract with Young & Rubicam, Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy & Mather, DDB Worldwide Communications and DNA, the telecom company said in a statement. A decision will be made by September. While the state-linked company did not put an exact dollar value on the work up for grabs, it quoted industry estimates that valued its annual Singapore advertising spending at S$30 million (US$17.65 million). SingTel has been facing rising competition in its home market from new players MobileOne Ltd and StarHub Pte Ltd.
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
ON THEIR OWN: The KMT has decided not to participate as a party at this year’s forum, and if any members do go, they would not be representing the party, Alicia Wang said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would not send a delegation “as a political party” to this year’s Straits Forum, after a Chinese TV program described the planned visit to the annual meeting as “suing for peace.” The 12th forum is scheduled to open in Xiamen, China, on Saturday. On Tuesday last week, the KMT announced that former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would lead the party’s delegation to the forum, with KMT Secretary-General Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) as deputy head. However, on Thursday last week, China Central Television’s (CCTV) Yangshipin (央視頻) program, hosted by Li Hong (李紅), included a headline
RIVERSIDE CAMP: As rescuers continued their search for a missing man, Taipower said that the floodgates at a hydro plant on the Lishi Creek opened due to a malfunction Three people have been confirmed dead and one was missing after being swept away by a flash flood while camping in Nantou County’s Renai Township (仁愛), police said yesterday. Six people from two families were camping near Lishi Creek (栗栖溪) when the riverbanks were suddenly flooded just after 4am, carrying away four of the campers — including two children — who were asleep in their tents, police said. A man who was among those swept away was able to climb ashore and call for help, police said, adding that another man had gone missing in the turmoil at the campsite.
WORKING OVERTIME? NTU professor Lee Duu-jong denied that he had held a part-time position at a Chinese university or joined China’s Thousand Talents Program A candidate for the post of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) president yesterday dropped out of the race following a report questioning his links to Chinese academia and government programs. Lee Duu-jong (李篤中), a professor at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) chemical engineering department, was a member of China’s Changjiang Scholars’ Program in 2006 and was on the list of its Thousand Talents Program in 2017, a report by Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine said yesterday. The article said that Lee is suspected of having held a part-time job at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and was the recipient