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Sat, Aug 18, 2007 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ STEEL

Arcelor investors fight bid

Hedge fund investors in steel giant Arcelor SA are seeking a Dutch court order to stop the US$41 billion Mittal Steel Co NV takeover that offers them a share swap they are not happy with, Arcelor said on Thursday. The company, which already calls itself ArcelorMittal, said it had received a writ of summons from three funds to appear on Wednesday at a court in Rotterdam, where Mittal is based. Mittal had planned to seek shareholder approval for the first phase of the merger on Aug. 28 and complete it on Sept. 3.

■ MARKETS

Borse Dubai eyes OMX AB

Borse Dubai yesterday launched a takeover offer for Nordic stock exchange operator OMX AB, setting the stage for a potential bidding war against US-based NASDAQ Stock Market Inc, which has already made an offer for the company. Borse Dubai, the owner of the Dubai stock exchange, said it is offering 230 kronor (US$32.84) per OMX share, valuing OMX at around 27.7 billion kronor. The bid represents a 14 percent premium over NASDAQ's cash-and-share offer, which it valued at 202.3 kronor per share. Rumors of a bidding war for the Nordic bourse have run high since last week, when the Dubai exchange said it was planning to raise its stake in OMX to more than 25 percent.

■ AUTOMAKERS

Japanese firms settle suit

Asthma patients yesterday welcomed a settlement with major Japanese automakers and the government resolving a long row over air pollution blamed for killing more than 100 people in Tokyo alone. The plaintiffs agreed to a court-mediated settlement to end an 11-year legal battle against seven automakers, which include industry giants Toyota, Honda and Nissan, as well as government bodies. More than 520 Tokyo residents had filed the lawsuit, blaming diesel gas fumes for causing their asthma. Under the settlement, the automakers alone will pay ?3.3 billion (US$28.6 million) to underwrite a five-year health plan for the asthma patients. The automakers will also pay a one-time ?1.2 billion to the plaintiffs.

■ ELECTRONICS

Sony in recycling initiative

Does that Walkman walk no more, or is the original PlayStation now a doorstop? Starting next month, Sony Corp will take them back at 75 recycling stations around the US. Other makers of computers and electronics, like Apple Inc, Dell Inc and Hewlett-Packard Co, also have their own recycling programs, which generally rely on customers mailing in their old gear. Sony is the first to partner with trash-hauler Waste Management Inc, which has a network of recycling drop-off centers. The centers will accept any Sony or Sony Ericsson-branded gadgets for free, and other brands for a fee.

■ STEEL

Chrysler boss wants rate cut

The new chief executive of Chrysler, Robert Nardelli, said on Thursday he believed a cut in US interest rates would help re-energize the sluggish economy. Nardelli, the former chairman of Home Depot, said he would have no problem endorsing an interest rate reduction by the US Federal Reserve in the wake of the troubles in the housing market. Nardelli is one of the first executives of a non-financial company to call for an adjustment in rates. "I don't think it had a direct impact" on the car industry and consumers, he said of the turmoil in the markets. "But it had a psychological impact."

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