Starr to sell AIG shares
Maurice “Hank” Greenberg’s Starr International Co agreed to sell as many as 10 million shares of American International Group Inc (AIG) to UBS AG in a deal that protects the seller against declines in the stock’s value. Under the so-called variable pre-paid forward sale, Starr may turn over shares starting in 2013 and receive about US$278.2 million, the investment firm said in a regulatory filing yesterday. Greenberg, the chief executive officer of AIG for almost four decades through 2005, runs Starr, which controls about 14 million AIG shares, its filing said. That is the largest private holding of stock in the New York-based insurer, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. AIG agreed in 2008 to turn over a majority stake to the US government in exchange for a bailout that swelled to US$182.3 billion.
No assistance needed: PM
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou told German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a telephone call on Sunday that Greece does not need any financial assistance at the moment, a German government spokesman said. “Chancellor Angela Merkel had a telephone conversation late this afternoon [Sunday] with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou about the current situation in the euro zone,” the spokesman said in a statement. “The Greek prime minister reaffirmed that Greece does not need any financial assistance. The chancellor reaffirmed her support for Greece’s reform policies and the determination of the EU to do everything necessary to ensure the stability of the euro zone.”
IADB erases Haitian debt
The governing board of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) agreed yesterday to raise US$70 billion in fresh capital and erase US$479 million of Haitian debt, Colombian Finance Minister Oscar Zuluaga said. “What was agreed in the declaration ... is a capital increase of US$70 billion,” he told reporters after a meeting of governors ended. Zuluaga said the capital increase was tied to a separate move to forgive US$479 million in loans to Haiti, which is in desperate need of aid after an earthquake hit in January. The IADB lends money and provides grants to its borrowing members in the Caribbean and Latin America.
UAC denies contract bid
Russia’s state-run United Aviation Corp (UAC) does not plan to bid for a US$50 billion contract to replace a US military fleet of air tankers, a company source said yesterday. John Kirkland, a Los Angeles-based attorney, had told various news media over the weekend that UAC would announce a joint venture with a US defense contractor to enter the bidding for the lucrative tanker deal against Europe’s EADS and Boeing Co.
Prices dip to about US$80
Oil prices dipped to about US$80 a barrel in Asian trade yesterday, extending last week’s losses caused by gains in the US dollar. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery next month, was down US$0.63 to US$80.05 a barrel. London’s Brent North Sea crude for May delivery shed US$0.42 to US$79.46 a barrel. “The market’s downward movement today is likely due to the fallout from the market’s sentiment on Friday,” said David Moore, a commodity strategist with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney.
EXTRADITION DEAL? A former prosecutor said that the US Department of Justice might ask Taiwan to extradite the men in return for the US doing something in return The US won arrest warrants for three Taiwanese men — a former president of China-based Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co (福建晉華) and two engineers — charged with stealing secrets from Idaho-based Micron Technology Inc. The effort to apprehend the three men — former Fujian Jinhua president Stephen Chen (陳正坤), and Ho Chien-ting (何建廷) and Wang Yong-ming (王永銘), who work for Taiwan-based United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) — is notable because they were charged in 2018 in the first case filed under the “China initiative” of US President Donald Trump’s administration targeting trade-secret theft, hacking and economic espionage. However, legal experts have said
There was a net reduction last year in the number of Taipei residents and this year is expected to set a 23-year high for population decline in the city, Ministry of the Interior statistics released yesterday showed. From January to last month, 18,861 more people moved out of Taipei than moved into the capital, an increase of 7,000 from the same period last year, the data showed. That is a 7.2 percent decrease in the city’s population since the start of the year, the biggest drop in both percentage and total number among all municipalities and counties nationwide, the data showed. The data
COUNCILS CLASH: The Mainland Affairs Council said a new office in Hong Kong is to assist people with issues related to investment, study and employment in Taiwan The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday denied an accusation by the Hong Kong-Taiwan Economic and Cultural Co-operation and Promotion Council that its Taiwanese counterpart in the territory was “interfering with Hong Kong’s internal affairs.” The Hong Kong council leveled the accusation after Taipei’s Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Co-operation Council this month announced it would establish a Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office to facilitate humanitarian aid for Hong Kongers. The new office is scheduled to begin operations on Wednesday. The MAC yesterday asked the Hong Kong council to “not misinterpret” the government’s intentions. The two Taiwan-Hong Kong councils were established in 2010 to
IRRESPONSIBLE ATTITUDES? Some experts say the NHI system does not do enough to educate the public, or pay doctors to talk to patients, about healthy lifestyles While the life expectancy of Taiwanese newborns in 2018 reached 80.69 years, the number of years people spent in poor health hit a record high at 8.41 years, Ministry of Health and Welfare statistics showed on Saturday. Healthy life expectancy is calculated by a person’s life expectancy minus the time they spend in ill health, such as the loss of mobility, disabilities and chronic disease, based on medical records and calculations about the years they live with disabilities. The number of years that Taiwanese spend in poor health is increasing slowly, but steadily, rising by 0.46 years, or five-and-a-half months, between 2012