Mittal rebuffed again
Mittal Steel, the world's largest steelmaker, said yesterday it had been in renewed contact with Luxembourg-based rival Arcelor over a takeover bid but had once more been rebuffed. Mittal chief executive Lakshmi Mittal said he was willing to consider a revised offer, as the company held its annual general meeting in Amsterdam. Mittal has offered 18.6 billion euros (US$23 billion) for Arcelor but has met opposition from Arcelor's board and the French government, which owns a stake in the company. "I am disappointed that at this stage I do not discern a willingness on the part of Arcelor to enter into meaningful discussions to reach a recommended transaction, which would surely be in the best interests of all stakeholders," Mittal said.
CGI firm files for bankruptcy
Silicon Graphics Inc, a pioneer in computerized special effects for movies like Jurassic Park, filed for bankruptcy protection, with an agreement to give noteholders a majority stake in the company. The filing comes two months after Silicon Graphics said it would reduce its global workforce by about 250 jobs, or 12 percent, by the end of the year in a move to cut costs. Silicon Graphics said it will file a plan within 30 days that will outline a strategy to exit bankruptcy and repay creditors. The company reached an agreement with noteholders, who have agreed to lend the company US$70 million on the terms of the plan yesterday, according to papers filed with the US Bankruptcy Court in New York.
Lone Star head arrested
The head of US investment fund Lone Star's office in South Korea was arrested yesterday as part of a probe into the company's alleged illegal activities, prosecutors said. Yoo Hoe-won, 56, was arrested on charges of embezzlement and breach of trust, prosecutors said. Lone Star, which bought a 51 percent stake in Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) for 1.38 trillion won (US$1.5 billion) in October 2003, has been investigated for allegedly evading tax payments and illegally transferring US$8.6 million overseas. Prosecutors are also looking into allegations that the government rushed through the 2003 sale of KEB. Critics say the authorities artificially lowered KEB's capital ratios, which measure the health of a bank, to below statutory minimums to ensure a quick sale to Lone Star.
Accused boss steps down
Toyota Motor North America's president and chief executive officer, accused in a sexual harassment lawsuit, has stepped down, the company said yesterday. To replace him, Toyota named the first American president of its US subsidiary. Hideaki Otaka, 65, who had been scheduled to leave his post in June, has voluntarily left earlier, saying his staying on was not in the company's interests. He said he was innocent of the charges. Replacing him as the new president is Jim Press, now president of Toyota Motor Sales, the US sales unit of Toyota Motor Corp. Otaka was accused in a US$190 million sexual harassment lawsuit filed in New York. In the suit, Sayaka Kobayashi accused him of repeatedly making unwanted sexual advances after she began working as his personal assistant in the middle of last year.
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
CASH BOOST: Foreign spouses with residency permits are also eligible for the coupons, which can be bought at post offices or linked to digital payment options Stimulus coupons for Taiwanese and foreign spouses with residency permits can be ordered starting on July 1 and can be used from July 15 to Dec. 31, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Aimed at boosting domestic spending, the coupons worth NT$3,000 (US$100.04) are to cost NT$1,000. “For our consumers, this is a very good deal as they get three times as much value for their money,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a news conference in Taipei. While the coupons are to have a wide range of uses, including at department stores, restaurants, book stores, night markets, beauty and hair salons, hotels, and to