Macarthur mulls offer
Australian miner Macarthur Coal Ltd said yesterday it would hold talks with Peabody Energy after two major shareholders said the US firm’s latest takeover offer of US$3.8 billion was worth considering. Macarthur, a major producer of pulverized coal used by steelmakers, said it was not making a recommendation to shareholders on Peabody’s increased bid of A$16 a share — an improvement over previous offers of A$13 and A$14 per share — for a total of A$4.1 billion (US$3.8 billion). However, one of its major shareholders, the world’s biggest steelmaker ArcelorMittal SA, said Peabody’s latest offer warranted “due consideration,” while another shareholder, South Korean steel producer POSCO, offered “in-principle support” for the bid.
UK issues pricing fines
Two tobacco manufacturers and nine retailers have been fined a total of £225 million (US$348 million) for “unlawful practices” in the pricing of tobacco products, the Office of Fair Trading said yesterday. The fine is the largest-ever total imposed by the office, and relates to the pricing of cigarettes, cigars and rolling tobacco. Imperial Tobacco Group and Gallaher Group were slapped with fines of £112.3 million and £50.4 million respectively.
Nestle challenges taxes
The chairman of food and drinks giant Nestle SA said on Thursday that Switzerland was no longer the most attractive country for business taxes. “Today there are other more attractive locations with regard to tax, even within Europe,” Peter Brabeck-Letmathe said in a speech to shareholders of Nestle, which is Switzerland’s biggest publicly owned company. A Nestle spokesman said Brabeck-Letmathe wasn’t referring to “any specific list” of countries with more favorable tax conditions.
Videogame sales rebound
US videogame sales last month broke a losing streak blamed in part on tough economic times, new figures released on Thursday by NPD Group showed. Revenue tallied US$1.52 billion, 6 percent higher than the US$1.44 billion posted in the same month a year earlier, NPD said. Nintendo dominated the videogame hardware category, selling 557,500 of its Wii consoles and a record-setting 700,800 DS handheld playing devices.
Carrefour sales rise
French retail giant Carrefour SA reported on Thursday its first quarterly sales increase in 18 months, with revenue up 5.5 percent in the first quarter despite a “challenging” market environment. The world’s second-largest retailer behind Wal-Mart Stores Inc said revenues rose to 23.96 billion euros (US$32.52 billion) in the first quarter of this year, up from 22.7 billion euros a year earlier. Carrefour also announced a share buyback program of up to 6 percent of its capital.
China Eastern to join team
China Eastern Airlines (中國東方航空) said yesterday it would sign a preliminary agreement to join global airline alliance SkyTeam. The companies were to sign a memorandum of understanding late yesterday, said Luo Zhuping (羅祝平), a spokesman for the nation’s third-largest carrier. China’s top carrier, China Southern Airlines (南方航空), is a member of SkyTeam, while the nation’s No. 2, Air China (中國國際航空), belongs to the Star Alliance.
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit