GM denies SAIC deal
General Motors Corp does not plan to sell its stake in a joint venture with local partner SAIC Motor Corp (上海汽車), a spokesman for the US automaker said yesterday. “There is no truth to the story that we are planning to sell Shanghai GM shares to our partner SAIC,” said Henry Wong, a Shanghai-based spokesman for the company.
Dow to reduce bonuses
The largest US chemical maker, Dow Chemical, will cut its bonuses for the first time in almost 100 years because of the economic crisis and massive financial problems, the company announced on Thursday. The firm’s disbursement in the next quarter will be US$0.15, which is only a third of the amount paid last time. Starting in 1912, the company never had to reduce its bonus. Up to the beginning of this year, Dow Chemical denied it would have to do so. Last week, Dow Chemical reported a loss of US$1.6 billion in the last quarter of last year, compared with a US$472 million profit in 2007.
Alcoa partners with Henan
US-based Alcoa on Thursday announced a “strategic cooperation agreement” with Henan Province in China on primary and fabricated aluminum products. The agreement was signed on Wednesday at Alcoa’s New York headquarters by company president and chief executive Klaus Kleinfeld and Henan Governor Guo Gengmao (郭庚茂). “By combining the strengths of Henan Province, an area with abundant energy and natural resources, and Alcoa’s technology and market leadership, we are aiming to establish a globally competitive base for aluminum production in China,” Kleinfeld said.
ThyssenKrupp profits down
ThyssenKrupp AG, Germany’s largest steelmaker, said yesterday company profits dropped sharply in the fiscal first quarter and that it would cut jobs as the world economic crisis caused a sharp fall in demand for steel. The Duesseldorf-based company said net profit in the quarter from October to December fell 63 percent to 163 million euros (US$210 million). Sales for the quarter fell by 6 percent to 11.5 billion euros. Ekkehard Schulz, Thyssen’s chief executive, said the company expected similar business conditions in the second quarter and that a full-year outlook was difficult to make given the ongoing economic situation.
Panasonic urges staff to buy
Panasonic Corp is urging its 10,000 managers in Japan to buy the company’s products to boost sales and help reverse a profit plunge, a spokesman said yesterday. Executives and senior managers are being asked to buy at least ¥200,000 (US$2,200) in Panasonic goods, such as refrigerators, flat-panel TVs and Blu-ray disc players, by July, said Akira Kadota, the spokesman. Lower level managers are asked to buy at least ¥100,000 worth of such products, he said.
Lehman head to lead LSE
The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has appointed Xavier Rolet, the former head of Lehman Brothers in France, as its new chief executive, the LSE said yesterday. Rolet will join the LSE board on March 16 and will take over as chief executive on May 20, it said in a statement. LSE shares, which peaked at over £17 a year ago, have fallen sharply amid concerns that the financial market downturn will curb equity trading volumes.
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in
JUST QUESTIONS: Expelled reporter Ai Kezhu said that every member of Southeast Television had complied with the law and had not appeared on any talk shows Two Chinese reporters yesterday left Taiwan after the government revoked their accreditation and ordered them to leave amid a probe into allegations that several Chinese media outlets have set up studios and produced political talk shows in Taiwan. The two reporters — Ai Kezhu (艾珂竹) and Lu Qiang (盧薔) — worked for Fujian Province-based Southeast Television and arrived in Taiwan in December last year. The Mainland Affairs Council has launched an investigation after local media reported that Chinese broadcasters — including China Central Television, Southeast Television and FJTV — had set up studios in Taipei and produced political talk shows. Council Deputy Minister
UPTICK IN NUMBERS: The Taipei deputy mayor said the city has services to assist new immigrants, but has established an office specifically to help those from Hong Kong The Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office today officially opens, where it is to provide humanitarian assistance to Hong Kongers, after Beijing yesterday passed a controversial national security law for the territory. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed dismay over China’s passage of the law, saying that Beijing has broken its pledge to allow Hong Kong to maintain a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years following its handover from the UK. “I feel extremely disappointed [about the law’s passage], which means China did not keep its promise to Hong Kong,” Tsai said in Taipei. Beijing’s “broken promise” also
PROBE LAUNCHED: An officer who served as a supervisor in the drill died in an apparent suicide after the accident, which was caused by unexpected waves Two marines who were on Friday injured in a military exercise in the waters off Kaohsiung passed away yesterday, Navy Command said. The marines — surnamed Tsai (蔡), 26, and a sergeant surnamed Chen (陳), 36 — were in a seven-member Marine Corps team that encountered rough seas during a simulated response to enemy forces landing on Taiwan. Their rubber craft overturned in waters off Taoziyuan (桃子園) beach in Zuoying District (左營), injuring four of the marines. They were rushed to hospital, where three of them — Tsai, Chen and a 34-year-old sergeant — were taken to an intensive care unit