Siemens, Nokia ties at risk
The alleged bribery scandal surrounding the German conglomerate Siemens may scupper a planned tie-up with Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia, according to a German news report yesterday. Nokia could at the last minute withdraw from the joint venture, Nokia Siemens Networks, which is designed to merge their telecoms equipment and network activities starting on Jan. 1, due to a special clause in the merger contract, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported. Nokia Siemens Networks would have annual sales of close to 16 billion euros (US$20.5 billion) and a work force of 60,000, making it No. 3 in the telecoms equipment sector behind Ericsson and Alcatel/Lucent.
Fund eyes foreign targets
Japan's gigantic public employee pension fund is studying a plan to invest more in foreign stocks and bonds to increase its returns, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported yesterday, a move that could boost overseas markets. The three pension funds covering public workers and teachers at private schools had a total of ?54 trillion (US$469 billion) in assets at the end of March, with 68 percent in domestic bonds, 12 percent in domestic stocks, 6 percent in foreign bonds and 8 percent in foreign stocks, the paper reported, without saying where it got its information. Hoping to score better payoffs from overseas stock markets, the Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare is considering boosting the percentage of funds invested in foreign stocks over the next 10 years.
Mizuho to open PRC branch
Mizuho Corporate Bank plans to set up a local unit in China to offer retail banking services to local customers in yuan, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said yesterday. The bank, one of the core members of Mizuho Financial Group, will file a request with Chinese authorities for the plan today, the business daily said. The wholly-owned local subsidiary will be set up in Shanghai, converting its five branches in Shanghai, Beijing, Dalian and two other cities to offices of the new entity, it said. Operation at the subsidiary is expected to begin early next year.
Ming An plans IPO
Ming An (Holdings) Co, a Hong Kong-based property and casualty insurer, plans to raise up to HK$1.3 billion (US$167 million) selling shares in an initial public offering to expand into China. The firm will sell 700.3 million shares at between HK$1.28 and HK$1.88 each to raise HK$896.4 billion to HK$1.316 billion, Ming An said in a statement yesterday. Ming An said it's the only company based outside of China to have full approval to offer insurance products in the nation, including for motor and property. The company will offer shares in Hong Kong from today to Thursday. Trading of the company in Hong Kong is forecast to start next Friday.
Police warn loan sharks
Malaysia's police will set up special squads to pursue loan sharks who use violence and intimidation against borrowers, news reports said yesterday. The crackdown comes amid increasing public concern over illegal moneylenders after a couple harassed by loan sharks allegedly poisoned their sons to death and tried to commit suicide. Offenders who lend money without a license face a maximum fine of 100,000 ringgit (US$25,000) and up to five years in jail.
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
‘CORRUPTION’: One DPP lawmaker and two KMT legislators were held incommunicado, while former NPP chairman Hsu Yung-ming was released on bail in the Pacific Sogo case The Taipei District Court yesterday ordered that three lawmakers be held incommunicado amid a probe into allegedly bribery relating to an ownership dispute over Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). The three are Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) of the Democratic Progressive Party, and Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). Also held incommunicado were Su’s office director Yu Hsueh-yang (余學洋) and Sufin’s office director Ting Fu-hua (丁復華), as well as Kuo Ke-ming (郭克銘), a political lobbyist and general manager of Knowledge International Consultancy (是知管理顧問公司). The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office on Friday raided the offices of six incumbent and former