Ford shakes up managers
Ford Motor Co announced a major shakeup on Thursday in senior management ranks, marking the first step in the auto maker's plan to revive its sagging North American business. Mark Fields, executive vice president of Ford of Europe and the Premier Automotive Group -- made up of Jaguar, Volvo, Land Rover and Aston Martin brands -- has been promoted to the post of executive vice president of Ford and president for the Americas. He will now lead all of Ford's business operations in North and South America, including the US, Mexico and Canada. Fields has extensive experience within Ford's ranks when it comes to returning business units to profitability. He lead the recovery of Mazda in the late 1990s and worked to maintain the luxury status of Ford's Premiere Automotive Group brands.
Access to buy PalmSource
Japanese Internet technology provider Access said yesterday it had agreed to buy PalmSource, the US maker of software for mobile phones and devices, for about ?36 billion (US$324 million). Under the binding deal, Access will pay US$18.50 per share in cash for PalmSource, an 83 percent premium to the US firm's share price. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the year. "PalmSource is a global leader in mobile device software and the developer of the well known Palm OS operating system," Access chief executive Toru Arakawa said in a statement.
■ Oil industry
IEA weighs in on Katrina
Hurricane Katrina is likely to curtail world oil production until the end of the year by 55 million barrels, about the same as Hurricane Ivan last year, the IEA estimated yesterday. Countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development are to meet on Thursday to review the post-hurricane supply situation and whether to increase, maintain or reduce emergency supply action, the agency said. "Hurricane Katrina has had a severe impact on US Gulf of Mexico supply and will likely affect production for several months to come," the IEA said. However, overall data show "world supply 2.0 million barrels a day above August 2004. OPEC crude stands 0.75 million barrels per day higher, OPEC other liquids supply is up 0.5 million barrels per day and non-OPEC supply is 0.75 million barrels up."
Merrill Lynch eyes alliances
Merrill Lynch & Co, the No. 2 securities firm by market value, may seek alliances or ventures with South Korean lenders to help sell more financial products to corporate clients, the bank's head of global markets said. Merrill, based in New York, wants to tap banks' customers across Asia's third-largest economy to sell derivatives and other financial services, Dow Kim, co-president of Merrill Lynch's Global Markets & Investment Banking Group, told reporters in Seoul. Merrill yesterday received an extended derivatives trading license, allowing the securities firm to offer won-denominated interest rate swaps and other complex products, Kim said. The license will enable it to offer diversified products in Korea, Kim said. Merrill plans to tap small and medium-sized corporate clients and financial companies in South Korea, before expanding to Taiwan and Hong Kong, Kim said.
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in
JUST QUESTIONS: Expelled reporter Ai Kezhu said that every member of Southeast Television had complied with the law and had not appeared on any talk shows Two Chinese reporters yesterday left Taiwan after the government revoked their accreditation and ordered them to leave amid a probe into allegations that several Chinese media outlets have set up studios and produced political talk shows in Taiwan. The two reporters — Ai Kezhu (艾珂竹) and Lu Qiang (盧薔) — worked for Fujian Province-based Southeast Television and arrived in Taiwan in December last year. The Mainland Affairs Council has launched an investigation after local media reported that Chinese broadcasters — including China Central Television, Southeast Television and FJTV — had set up studios in Taipei and produced political talk shows. Council Deputy Minister
UPTICK IN NUMBERS: The Taipei deputy mayor said the city has services to assist new immigrants, but has established an office specifically to help those from Hong Kong The Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office today officially opens, where it is to provide humanitarian assistance to Hong Kongers, after Beijing yesterday passed a controversial national security law for the territory. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed dismay over China’s passage of the law, saying that Beijing has broken its pledge to allow Hong Kong to maintain a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years following its handover from the UK. “I feel extremely disappointed [about the law’s passage], which means China did not keep its promise to Hong Kong,” Tsai said in Taipei. Beijing’s “broken promise” also
PROBE LAUNCHED: An officer who served as a supervisor in the drill died in an apparent suicide after the accident, which was caused by unexpected waves Two marines who were on Friday injured in a military exercise in the waters off Kaohsiung passed away yesterday, Navy Command said. The marines — surnamed Tsai (蔡), 26, and a sergeant surnamed Chen (陳), 36 — were in a seven-member Marine Corps team that encountered rough seas during a simulated response to enemy forces landing on Taiwan. Their rubber craft overturned in waters off Taoziyuan (桃子園) beach in Zuoying District (左營), injuring four of the marines. They were rushed to hospital, where three of them — Tsai, Chen and a 34-year-old sergeant — were taken to an intensive care unit