BHP hires top lobbyists
BHP Billiton Ltd hired advisers to three Canadian prime ministers to lobby for its US$40 billion hostile bid for Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc. Michael Coates, an adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the last three election campaigns, registered for BHP, according to the Web site of the country’s lobbyist registry. William Pristanski, an aide in the 1980s to former Conservative leader Brian Mulroney, and Bruce Hartley, former assistant to the Liberals’ Jean Chretien, also registered on behalf of BHP. BHP may face competition for the world’s largest fertilizer maker from China, with Sinochem Group (中國中化) hiring Deutsche Bank AG and Citigroup Inc to assess ways to disrupt the bid, the Financial Times said yesterday.
Sharp to buy solar firm
Japanese electronics giant Sharp said yesterday it would buy US solar power project developer Recurrent in an acquisition that would make the US company a wholly owned subsidiary. Recurrent said the deal could be worth up to US$305 million and was expected to close before the end of the year, with Sharp taking a 100 percent stake. In a statement, Sharp said the deal was made in anticipation of “greatly” increasing demand for solar power in North America as the number of related projects rises. Recurrent, an independent power producer in the US, develops and markets solar power plants by collaborating with power companies.
Siemens to book huge loss
German industrial giant Siemens said it would book a charge of up to 1.4 billion euros (US$1.86 billion) on its healthcare diagnostics division after a review of its prospects. “This impairment is being made in connection with a re-evaluation of medium-term growth prospects and long-term market developments in the laboratory diagnostics business,” a statement said late on Tuesday. The charge, which will be taken in Siemens’ fourth quarter, which runs from July through September, will not prevent the group from hitting annual targets, it said.
Users satisfied with Apple
US computer buyers are happy as ever, with Apple machines yielding top satisfaction and the Windows 7 operating system making amends for a loathed prior generation of the Microsoft software. Annual figures released on Tuesday by the American Customer Satisfaction Index showed a 4 percent improvement in the way people felt about their computers, with Apple leading the way by pleasing 86 percent of buyers. Overall satisfaction with PCs averaged 78 percent, with Windows-based models by Acer, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and others coming in 1 percentage point below the average, the index showed.
■ UNITED KINGDOM
Cable to unveil investment
Business Secretary Vince Cable was to announce a review of corporate governance, takeovers and ways to promote long-term investment. Cable, who heads the Department for Innovation and Skills, was to give details of the plan yesterday at the annual conference of his Liberal Democrats party. Excerpts of his speech released in advance showed that Cable views short-termism and shareholder disengagement as increasing problems. One issue he intended to explore was whether the way in which directors are paid encourages takeovers. Concern about takeovers has risen since US giant Kraft Foods took over British firm Cadbury earlier this year.
PALAU LAUNCHES: The source said that Taiwanese military personnel traveled to Palau, where a US brigade watched their work amid plans for a defense network The military last month participated in live-fire launches of MM-104F Patriot (PAC-3) missiles under US observation in an undisclosed location in Palau, a step forward in a US-led plan to create a joint defense missile system in the first island chain, a source said on condition of anonymity. The PAC-3 is the mainstay surface-to-air missile of the US, NATO and democratic nations in East Asia, the source said, adding that it has never been live-tested within Taiwan’s borders, the source said. The proximity of Taiwan to China and China’s close surveillance of the nation’s borders and nearby sea zones is a significant
DETERRENCE: The president on Thursday is to launch the first indigenous submarine, which is to enter sea trials next month before being delivered to the navy next year Taiwan hopes to deploy at least two new, domestically developed submarines by 2027, and possibly equip later models with missiles to bolster its deterrence against the Chinese navy and protect key supply lines, the head of the program said. Taiwan has made the Indigenous Submarine Program a key part of an ambitious project to modernize its armed forces as Beijing stages almost daily military exercises. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who initiated the program when she took office in 2016, is expected to launch the first of eight new submarines on Thursday under a plan that has drawn on expertise and technology from
FISHING FUROR: The latest spat was sparked by a floating barrier that was found across the entrance of Scarborough Shoal during a resupply mission to fishers Beijing yesterday warned Manila not to “stir up trouble” after the Philippine Coast Guard said it removed a floating barrier at a disputed reef that was allegedly deployed by China to block Filipino fishers from the area. Scarborough Shoal (Huangyan Island, 黃岩島) in the South China Sea has long been a source of tension between the nations. China seized the ring of reefs from the Philippines in 2012 and has since deployed patrol boats. The latest spat was sparked by a 300m floating barrier that was found across the entrance of the shoal last week during a routine Philippine government resupply mission
UP-AND-COMER: Taiwan’s youngest-ever Asian Games athlete, 11-year-old Lin Yi-fan, qualified for the final of the women’s park skateboarding event Taiwanese judoka Yang Yung-wei (楊勇緯) yesterday won Taiwan’s first gold medal at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, defeating South Korea’s Lee Ha-rim 1-0 in the men’s 60kg category. The gold medal was Taiwan’s 100th since it first participated in the Games in 1954. Yang is also the first Taiwanese to win a gold medal in men’s judo at the Games. After defeating Lee, a teary-eyed Yang hugged his coach, Liu Wen-deng (劉文等). “I finally did it,” the world No. 7 judoka shouted. Previously, Taiwan’s judo team had only collected four silvers in the Asian Games, all of which were won by women. Yang’s gold