Finance minister replaced
Jin Renqing (金人慶), the finance minister for the past four years , has been shifted to a government think-tank post and will be replaced by the nation's top tax collector, government sources said yesterday. Jin, 63, will be replaced by Xie Xuren (謝旭人), director of the State Administration of Taxation, the sources said. Xie's promotion will require approval by the National People's Congress, they said, although this is essentially a formality. They gave no specific reasons why Jin had been transferred, and he had given no public indication that he was planning to step aside.
Hyundai union mulls strike
Workers at yundai Motor, South Korea's biggest carmaker, will stage a weekend overtime ban before a possible strike next week, union officials said yesterday. The 44,000-strong union will vote tomorrow on whether to strike in support of an 8.9 percent pay increase, an extension of the retirement age from 58 to 60 and a halt to the allocation of work to overseas plants. "We will reject extra work Saturday and Sunday," union leader Lee Jung-hee said, adding that the union could stage a strike anytime from next Tuesday unless its demands are met. The company has offered a 5.4 percent pay rise.
Wipro to open US center
India's Wipro Technologies Ltd plans to open a software development center in Atlanta, George, that will employ mostly graduates from universities and colleges in the US state, the company said. Wipro Technologies -- which is the global services arm of the outsourcing company Wipro Ltd -- will start the center with 200 employees and scale it up to 500 positions in three years, the company said in a statement released late on Monday. "The center is part of Wipro's strategy to build global delivery capabilities and will significantly increase the company's presence and base of local hires in the United States," the statement said.
Watchdog blocks KEB sale
South Korea's financial watchdog said yesterday it would not approve the sale of Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) to HSBC until legal cases over its previous sale are settled. HSBC said last week it was in talks to buy a majority stake in the nation's fifth-largest commercial bank from Lone Star. "HSBC cannot be an exception to the [customary] position of financial authorities" said Kim Dae-pyung, deputy governor of the Financial Supervisory Service. Prosecutors brought charges against six people, including a former KEB president last year, accusing them of manipulating figures on KEB's financial health to pave the way for the US private equity fund to acquire the bank in 2003.
Japan exploring technology
Japan will start research on new network technology to replace the Internet to tackle growing quality and security problems, a government official said yesterday. US and European researchers have already started research to rebuild the underlying architecture of the Internet -- a move that could mean replacing networking equipment and rewriting software on computers. Yoshihiro Onishi, assistant director at the Ministry of Communication, said Japan felt it was crucial to follow suit to stay competitive. Post-Internet network technology is expected to become imperative by 2020, he said.