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Wed, Dec 20, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ 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.

■ Insurance

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.

■ Automobiles

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.

■ Aviation

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.

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