■ Stock exchange
LSE rejects NASDAQ again
London Stock Exchange PLC yesterday urged its shareholders to reject a hostile takeover bid by the NASDAQ Stock Market Inc, saying the offer was "wholly inadequate." New York-based NASDAQ has given LSE shareholders until Jan. 11 to accept its offer, which values the London exchange at ?2.7 billion (US$5.3 billion). The LSE board has already formally rejected the bid. "For the second time this year, NASDAQ is offering a wholly inadequate price for the company and shareholders should reject the offer," LSE chairman Chris Gibson-Smith said in a letter to shareholders.
■ Real estate
Land auction posts record
Hong Kong sold a rare luxury residential site at the world-famous Peak for HK$1.8 billion (US$231 million), well above market expectations. The sales price represented a record of US$42,196 per square foot (0.093m2). After half an hour of aggressive bidding, property giant Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd (新鴻基地產) won the site for a price more than double the asking bid of US$768 million and far over analyst forecasts of US$1.194 billion. The 7,353m2 former government quarters, located at 12 Mount Kellett Road, Peak Pavilions, offers a gross floor area for development of up to 3,967m2. This is the city's fourth land auction in the current fiscal year to March.
China Life's IPO approved
China Life Insurance (中國人壽), the nation's largest insurer, said yesterday it won official approval for its 1.5 billion-share listing in Shanghai. Institutional subscription is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, and retail subscription is set for Tuesday, according to a company filing to the Shanghai stock exchange. The company could reportedly raise up to 28 billion yuan (US$3.6 billion) from the initial public offering. The stock sale will represent 5.3 percent of the company's enlarged share capital, the company said. China Life will set its Shanghai IPO price on Friday.
Honda expects steady sales
Honda Motor Co yesterday said it expected worldwide sales to rise 5 percent to a record 3.55 million vehicles in the current year amid increased demand for its fuel-efficient and reliable models. The Tokyo-based automaker also planned to spend ?25 billion (US$211 million) to build a new engine plant in Japan to meet the expanding market, the company said in a release. Sales in the US were forecast to 3 percent to 1.51 million vehicles and those in Europe were expected to climb 8 percent to 310,000 units this year. In Asia outside Japan, Honda forecast sales would rise 4 percent to 320,000 units this year.
EU agrees on emissions
The European Commission has agreed to a compromise proposal over its plans to include the aviation industry in its carbon-trading scheme, the Financial Times reported yesterday. The commission had originally planned to include all inbound and outbound air traffic in its emissions-trading scheme by 2011. According to the FT, however, the new proposals confine the scheme only to travel within the EU by 2011, and then extending it to all air traffic by 2013. The commission is expected to approve the proposal today and must be signed off by the EU member states and the European Parliament.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
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