Google Inc, the world's most-used Internet search engine, cut the price range on its initial public offering by about a quarter, valuing the company at as much as US$25.8 billion. \nGoogle reduced the price to between US$85 and US$95 a share from the previous range of between US$108 and US$135 a share, the company said in a statement on its Web site. Shareholders lowered the number of shares they are selling by 6.1 million to 5.5 million because of the lower price range, Google said. The company still plans to sell about 14.1 million shares. \n"The new range is a clear reflection of the recent news flow and a big improvement over the previous range, which in my opinion valued Google way too high," said Jan van der Hout, who is part of a team at Van Lanschot Asset Management in the Netherlands, that oversees the equivalent of about US$2.5 billion. \n"I will definitely take a look at the shares once they start trading, but there's no rush," he said. \nThe sale will make billionaires out of Larry Page, 31, and Sergey Brin, 30, who founded the Mountain View, California-based company in 1998 after meeting as graduate students at Stanford University. \nThe company's market value at the top of the new range would value Google at about the same as Ford Motor Co. \nGoogle is cutting the price range for its stock in the face of a slumping market for IPOs, a drop in technology shares and missteps that included a failure to register some shares. The decision to use an auction was the biggest test of a system that challenges how securities firms handle stock offerings and may threaten bankers' fees. \nCindy McCaffrey, a Google spokeswoman declined to comment on the new price range when contacted by phone. \nGoogle said in the statement that it asked the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to declare its registration effective at 4pm yesterday in Washington. Bid-ders for shares of Google were left waiting after the commission didn't act on the company's application to complete its initial public offering. \nThe price range is 26 percent lower than the previous range, based on the difference between the middle of the ranges. The earlier range valued Google at as much as US$36.6 billion. \nUnderwriters will have the option to buy an additional 2.9 million shares from shareholders, the company said in yesterday's statement. \nThe delay may prompt potential Google bidders to think a SEC inquiry into shares the company failed to register is holding up the sale, attorneys and analysts including Martin Pyykkonen of Janco Partners Inc said. Some buyers may withdraw bids they've placed in Google's IPO, which is the largest ever to be distributed through an Internet-based auction. \n"If someone gets the jitters because the SEC is going to take more time, they're going to be more wary than they were 24 hours ago," said Pyykkonen, an analyst with Janco Partners in Greenwood Village, Colorado.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South