Orascom may boost stake
Orascom Telecom Holding SAE, the Middle East's largest mobile-phone operator by subscriptions, may boost its stake in Hutchison Telecommunications International Ltd (和記電訊) by 3.3 percent, chief executive officer Naguib Sawiris said on Saturday. Orascom, which agreed last December to buy a 19.3 percent stake in Hutchison for US$1.3 billion, wants to merge with the Asian telecommunications company, Sawiris said. Hutchison is a unit of Hutchison Whampoa Ltd (和記黃埔), which is owned by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing (李嘉誠). Sawiris is seeking to expand in Asia and Africa to make Orascom one of the world's 10 largest telecommunications companies.
VW `planning price cut'
Volkswagen, which is at odds with unions over high labor costs and over-staffing, is planning to cut the price of one of its volume cars and introduce a Brazilian-made model, an industry newspaper, Automobilwoche, said on Saturday. It said the company's head of brands, Wolfgang Bernhard, proposed to cut the cost of manufacturing the Polo, by 2,000 euros (US$2,500) per vehicle from 2008. The weekly said he also wanted to offer Europeans a no-frills model, the Fox, which is currently produced in Brazil. Volkswagen declined to respond, saying it did not comment on speculation about models. The company also partly denied a report in a news weekly, Der Spiegel, that 30,000, not 20,000 jobs in Germany, might be eliminated as Volkswagen raises productivity. VW's head of personnel, Horst Neumann, said through a spokesman he had not spoken of any specific number. The spokesman declined to say which number was correct.
Lawmakers urge revisions
Japanese ruling and opposition lawmakers urged the Bank of Japan yesterday to introduce asset disclosure rules after the central bank chief admitted having kept a scandal-tainted investment. "They should revise their internal regulations" on asset disclosure, said Toranosuke Katayama, a senior official of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's Liberal Democratic Party. "I think at least assets held by a governor of the Bank of Japan must be disclosed," Katayama said. Embattled central bank chief Toshihiko Fukui said on Friday he made millions of yen in profits from an investment in a scandal-tainted fund that has triggered calls for his resignation. Fukui, who first made the investment just before taking office, pledged to report precise figures by tomorrow. Fukui, who was then in the private sector, had invested in the fund of Yoshiaki Murakami, a former bureaucrat who became an activist for shareholder rights.
Japanese looking to Islam
Japan will study Islamic financial practices in a bid to attract Middle Eastern oil money, a daily said yesterday. The government-backed Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has formed a four-man advisory board of Islamic legal scholars the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said. JBIC will also study Islamic-style finance in a tie-up with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, Mizuho Corporate Bank and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, the business daily said. The aim is to help Japanese private financial institutions enter the Islamic financial market, Nihon Keizai said.
VIGILANCE: From tomorrow all arrivals must provide the result of a PCR test issued within three days of boarding, and the CECC asked people to report anyone who has faked their result The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) expects an increase in the number of returning travelers in the coming days, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday, adding that the varying qualities of COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test reports from other countries is a big concern. Chen, who heads the center, was speaking to the media on the sidelines of a Taiwan Foundation for Rare Disorders scholarship award ceremony in Taipei. “As the global COVID-19 situation is worsening, and with some holidays coming up, there might be an increase in the number of overseas Taiwanese returning to Taiwan,” he
SKIN, ENTRAILS: Placards also dotted the legislative chamber, with slogans such as ‘Oppose ractopamine pork — not US pork’ and ‘Much ado about nothing’ Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers yesterday pelted Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) with pig skin and entrails as he addressed the Legislative Yuan on pork imports for the first time since the KMT’s boycott began on Sept. 18. Opposition lawmakers have been demanding an apology from the government for its decision to lift its ban on the importation of US pork containing residues of the livestock drug ractopamine. After Su arrived at 10am for his 13th attempt to deliver a regular policy report, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus moved to change the agenda to accommodate the premier. The motion resulted in cries of
CECC RULES: The autumn-winter COVID-19 prevention program, including mandatory mask wearing in eight types of public venues and indoor facilities, begins today A temporary, two-week ban on Indonesian migrant workers entering the nation is to begin on Friday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday as it reported 24 new imported cases of COVID-19. Twenty of the new cases are Indonesian migrant workers who arrived between Nov. 11 and Friday last week, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. The cases were discovered during a special project on Friday to conduct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on all 939 recently arrived Indonesian migrant workers in centralized quarantine facilities, as the majority of imported cases in the past
Passports with a redesigned cover highlighting Taiwan would be issued starting on Jan. 11, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The new cover design, which was announced on Sept. 2, highlights Taiwan by printing the word in a larger font. While the new passport cover retains “the Republic of China” in Chinese, the English name is printed along the outer circle of the national emblem, which would enable other nations to clearly identify that it is a Taiwanese passport, not a Chinese passport, the ministry said. The costs and application procedures for the new version are the same as