Pfizer may bid for Ranbaxy
Giant drugmaker Pfizer may make a counter-offer for Indian firm Ranbaxy in an attempt to thwart a takeover bid by Japanese pharmaceutical firm Daiichi Sankyo, a report said yesterday. On Wednesday, Daiichi Sankyo said it signed an agreement to purchase a 35 percent stake held by the Singh family in the top Indian generics maker and would make an open share offer to bring its holding to 51.1 percent in a deal it valued at up to US$4.6 billion. But leading Indian financial daily the Business Standard, quoting unidentified sources it said were close to developments, reported Pfizer was mulling a bid for the 65 percent of Ranbaxy not owned by the Singhs. The newspaper reported that Pfizer may offer to buy out stakes held by lenders and other investors.
■ REAL ESTATE
US foreclosures hit record
Surging US home foreclosures rose to another record last month, according to a survey released yesterday, which showed home foreclosure actions hit a fresh all-time high of 261,255. The survey by RealtyTrac said the percentage of foreclosure actions — including default, auction sale notices and bank repossessions — rose 7 percent from the prior month and spiked 48 percent from a year ago. The report showed that one in every 483 US households received a foreclosure filing during the month as the housing market slump continued to buffet the world’s largest economy. “May was the third straight month where we’ve seen a month-to-month increase in foreclosure activity,” said James Saccacio, chief executive of RealtyTrac.
UBS share sale a success
UBS AG said yesterday that investors bought almost all new shares offered in a 15.97 billion Swiss Franc (US$15.37 billion) capital increase to recover from subprime problems. “Subscription rights for 755,466,901 new shares were exercised, representing 99.4 percent of all new shares offered” under the program authorized at the April 23 shareholders’ meeting, the financial firm said. It said the remaining nearly 5 million new shares would be sold by UBS Investment Bank in open market transactions starting yesterday.
EU to probe US subsidies
The EU, opening up a new trans-Atlantic trade spat, will investigate whether soaring imports of US biodiesel break global trade rules because of subsidies, the EU’s executive commission said yesterday. In April, EU biodiesel producers requested the Commission impose duties on imports from the US and yesterday said there was enough evidence to warrant anti-subsidy and anti-dumping investigations. European producers say their US rivals benefit from generous subsidies when they blend biodiesel with small amounts of mineral diesel in the US, creating unfair competition that has put much of EU industry out of business.
Penguin can emit smells
South Korean researchers, showcasing their latest line in robotic pets, have unveiled a penguin that can interact with humans. Called “Pomi” (Penguin Robot for Multimodal Interaction), it can see, hear, touch, emit smells and make faces, yesterday’s Korea Times said. It was developed by the state-run Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, which plans to put Pomi to commercial use. The institute said Pomi’s software, which imitates human emotion, will be available on the market by the end of next month.
UNFIT TO LEAD? The WHO head blamed Taiwan for attacks on his person and said that the nation’s bid to join had an ‘ulterior political motive,’ a report said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus should not allow politics to supersede professionalism, Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said yesterday after it was reported that Tedros had complained about Internet commentary that he was pro-China and unfit to continue in his position. The Chinese-language report by Up Media on Thursday cited a source familiar with Taiwanese foreign affairs as saying that Tedros blamed Taiwan for attacks on his person and that the nation’s bid to join the WHO had an “ulterior political motive.” While Chang said he could not be certain what Tedros had said, regardless of the comments, his allegations were
‘TAIWAN MODEL’: The government aims to determine whether using normal scheduled flights better meets its objectives than the charter flights used previously The Straits Exchange Foundation yesterday announced a third set of flights to evacuate 440 Taiwanese from China’s Hubei Province due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The flights, operated by China Airlines Ltd (中華航空) according to its normal schedule, are on Sunday and Monday next week. They are to depart Shanghai Pudong International Airport at 7:50pm and arrive at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 9:50pm, the foundation said. China Airlines is to dispatch two Boeing 777. The aircraft has a capacity of 358 passengers, but each would only carry 220 to ensure a proper distance is maintained between those onboard, it said. Within hours of the foundation
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday stood defiant in the face of a US$15 million bounty issued by the US for him to face drug trafficking charges, calling US President Donald Trump a “racist cowboy,” and warning that he is ready to fight by whatever means necessary should the US and Colombia dare to invade. Maduro’s bellicose remarks came hours after the US announced sweeping indictments against him and several members of his inner circle, for allegedly converting Venezuela into a criminal enterprise at the service of drug traffickers and terrorist groups. One indictment by prosecutors in New York accused Maduro and
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 17 new cases of COVID-19, bring the nation’s total number of confirmed cases to 252. Of the new cases, 15 were imported and two were locally transmitted, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said at the center’s daily news conference in Taipei. The 15 imported cases were seven women and eight men in their 20s to 60s who entered Taiwan between Monday last week and Monday this week, said Chen, who also heads the center. Prior to the onset of their illness, they had traveled to the US, the UK, New Zealand, Spain,