BHP mum on bid rumors
Fresh rumors that BHP Billiton Ltd was preparing a takeover bid for either aluminum producer Alcoa or its rival Alcan had little impact on Australia's stock market yesterday, as some analysts doused the idea with cold water. BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, declined to comment on media reports citing unnamed sources that it was reviving plans for a US$40 billion offer for Alcoa and that it had hired investment bank Merrill Lynch to advise it on a possible bid for Alcan. BHP shares dipped in early trade, then rose 0.69 percent to A$34.92 (US$24.95) on the news.
Temasek to sell companies
Singapore's state-owned investment company Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd said yesterday it will sell three Singapore power generation companies over the next 12 to 18 months. Potential buyers have been showing interest since last year in PowerSeraya Ltd, Senoko Power Ltd and Tuas Power Ltd, Temasek said in a statement. Temasak wholly owns the three companies, which supply about 90 percent of Singapore's power and have a combined generating capacity of 9,070 megawatts. Temasek said it expects the sale to be completed by end of next year or in early 2009.
Seoul wants talks on FTA
South Korea said yesterday it will hold talks with the US this week to discuss possible revisions for a free trade agreement after a US call for changes. Last week, the US formally proposed making changes to the trade pact to reflect its new guidelines that call for stricter labor and environment standards. The US proposal called for changes in seven sectors -- including labor and environment -- of the deal, which was reached in April and awaits legislative approval in both countries. South Korea will hold discussions on the matter when a US delegation visits Seoul tomorrow and Friday.
Automakers to cooperate
Vehicle makers DaimlerChrysler AG and Fiat SpA said yesterday they signed an agreement calling for strategic cooperation to provide the German-US automaker's truck group with engine and powertrain technology from Italy. "The first step of this agreement concerns the long-term supply of light-duty diesel engines ... to the Mitsubishi Fuso Bus & Truck Corporation, to be used in the Canter light commercial vehicle which will be marketed in major markets, including Europe and Japan," the two companies said in a joint statement. Under the agreement, Turin-based Fiat will supply some 80,000 engines to DaimlerChrysler's Mitsubishi Fuso unit starting in 2009, with the number rising as needed.
Philips eyes LED maker
Royal Philips Electronics NV said yesterday it will offer US$34 per share for US lighting company Color Kinetics Inc, in a management-supported bid that values the company at 516 million euros (US$688 million). The offer is a 14 percent premium to Color Kinetic's closing price on Monday of US$29.79. Boston, Massachusetts-based Color Kinetics is a maker of light emitting diode (LED) lighting systems, with sales of US$65 million last year. Philips said Color Kinetics also holds "important patents relating to intelligence and control technology for LED lighting."
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted
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
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