France yesterday launched the privatization of telecommunications operator France Telecom, with Economy and Finance Minister Nicolas Sarkozy announcing the sale of 9.6 percent of its shares. \nThe state is to retain 41.0 to 43.5 percent of the capital and plans to remain a major shareholder in the medium term, a finance ministry statement said. \nFrance Telecom is a flagship industrial name in France and anything affecting its corporate status or the employment prospects of staff has provoked opposition from trade unions in the past. \nThe decision means that France Telecom will gain a more flexible capital structure and a larger investment base and that the government will earn funds needed to reduce its public debt. \nIssued shortly before the company's board was to meet the statement said: "The state has today started the sale of 9.6 percent of the capital of France Telecom. When this sale is completed, depending on the number of shares that have been bought, the state will hold directly or indirectly between 41.0 and 43.5 percent of France Telecom's capital." \nIt added: "The state is determined to remain a major shareholder of France Telecom in the medium term." \nThe money raised will help France trim its public debt, which has repeatedly breached EU limits. \nThe government's stake sale is worth 4.6 billion to 5.8 billion euros (US$5.6 billion to US$7 billion) based on Tuesday's closing price, depending on the exact number of shares sold. \nFrance Telecom, meanwhile, "needs to increase its room for manoeuvre in order to adapt to future developments in the telecommunications market," the ministry said. \nBy effectively privatizing the telecoms operator, the state plans to provide France Telecom with a more flexible capital structure and a larger investor base. \nThe government said France Telecom's stable financial situation and recent buyout of Orange and Wanadoo, its mobile and Internet access units, means the operator can now take full advantage of developments in the telecoms market. \nShares will subsequently be offered to existing and former France Telecom employees.
SOURED RELATIONS: Program director Jennifer Liu said the move to Taipei was due to a ‘perceived lack of friendliness’ from Beijing Language and Culture University Harvard University is to relocate its summer Mandarin program from Beijing to National Taiwan University (NTU) starting next year, a student publication reported on Thursday last week. Run at Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) since 2004, the Harvard Beijing Academy is to become the Harvard Taipei Academy once it moves to Taiwan, Crimson magazine reported. Program director Jennifer Liu (劉力嘉) attributed the decision to a “perceived lack of friendliness” from the Chinese university, potentially due to shifting political winds. Liu told the magazine that BLCU in recent years had failed to provide a single dorm for the students or separate accommodation of
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday issued a rebuttal to former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, who said a fistfight in the Legislative Yuan might have been “provoked from the outside” to destabilize Taiwan. Rice made the comment in an online discussion about the AUKUS alliance of Australia, the UK and the US hosted by the Policy Exchange forum in London on Thursday. On mention of Taiwan, she was quoted by The Australian as predicting that Beijing would use paramilitary forces and acts of sabotage to destabilize the nation. “There was a fistfight in the Taiwanese parliament a few weeks ago
ADVANCING TECH: With revenue on target to reach US$15.4 billion, the Hsinchu-based chipmaker said it is looking to produce 3-nanometer chips later this year Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday announced plans to build a new plant in Japan next year to produce 22-nanometer and 28-nanometer chips in its latest effort to expand its global manufacturing footprint. The Japanese fab is to start operations in 2024, the world’s biggest contract chipmaker said, ending months of speculation. “We have received strong commitment to supporting this project from our customers and the Japanese government,” TSMC chief executive officer C.C. Wei (魏哲家) told a quarterly investors’ conference. “We believe the expansion of our global manufacturing footprint will enable us to better serve our customers’ needs and reach global talent,
KNOWN ISSUES: Fire safety issues were found in the 40-year-old building, which previously housed a theater and restaurants, in 2019, last year and May, an official said Forty-six people died and 41 were injured in a building fire that raged out of control for hours overnight in Kaohsiung, authorities said yesterday. Flames and smoke billowed from the lower floors of the 13-story Cheng Chung Cheng (城中城) building on Fubei Road in Yancheng District (鹽埕), as firefighters tried to douse the blaze from the street and aerial platforms. The death toll rose steadily through the day as rescue workers searched the combined commercial and residential building. By late afternoon, authorities said 32 bodies had been found, while a further 14 people who showed no signs of life were among 55