March 2006, a flashback

BY LEE HAN SHIH
Mar 02, 2009
*Special to asia!

A look at what happened in North Asian businesses, three years to this day.

More woes for Yamaha Motor
The Japanese company, already under investigation for the alleged sale of helicopters to Poly Technologies, a firm linked to the People’s Liberation Arm of China, for military uses, is now suspected of selling an aircraft to another firm affiliated to the Chinese military.

Mazda profit surges
The Japanese carmaker saw its third quarter earnings surge 39 per cent to 10.2 billion ($86.5 million), a result of better sales in overseas markets, the popularity of new models (Mazda 5 minivan and MX-5 Miata convertible) and small discounts. The Japanese carmaker saw its third quarter earnings surge 39 per cent to 10.2 billion ($86.5 million), a result of better sales in overseas markets, the popularity of new models (Mazda 5 minivan and MX-5 Miata convertible) and small discounts. 

China Eastern issues profit warning
The airline, listed in Hong Kong, has warned that profit for 2005 will fall by at least 50 per cent from the 536 million yuan in 2004, the result of higher fuel costs and tough competition from its rivals. 

Uniqlo forays into the Big Apple
Japanese largest clothing chain is setting up in the US in a big way. It is taking up a 50,000 sq ft space in the lower part of Broadway, in New York City, of which half will be a retail selling floor. The balance will house its American operations and a design team. Uniqlo sold $3 billion worth of low-cost, casual apparel in 680 locations in Japan. It is now eyeing the American market dominated by Gap. 

Alibaba catapulted into rank of top tax payers
Taxes paid by Alibaba hit nearly 255 million yuan last year, making it the first time the portal’s taxation exceeded the hundred million yuan mark. Its high profit is a reason that made Yahoo! dish out $1 billion for a controlling stake in the  
Chinese portal. 

Fubon hit for bond irregularities
Taiwan’s third largest financial group was fined NT$3.6 million for breaking rules in trading bond funds in its Fubon Asset Management between May 2004 and October 2005. Michael Ding, president of FMA, is suspended for three months. Fubon, controlled by a branch of the powerful Tsai family, says it has enough funds to handle possible redemption on the funds. 

Newbridge buys into Taishin Financial
The San Francisco based fund is buying NT$27 billion ($844 million) worth of shares and preferred shares of Taishin, Taiwan’s second biggest credit card issuer. The investment will give Newbridge two seats on the nine-seat board and gives it the single biggest shareholder with 23.12 per cent stake when the preferred shares matured to common shares. Taishin is raising funds to help pay for its NT$36 billion purchase of its smaller rival, the Chang Hwa Commercial Bank. 

North Korea printing fake US currency?
The US said it has found evidence that North Korea has printed some $45 million worth of fake $100 notes to help prop up its sagging economy and keep its leaders in luxury. The notes, circulating in the US and elsewhere, are so perfect in every detail they are dubbed “supernotes.” North Korea has refuted the accusation. 

Swatch ups stakes in Chinese partner
Swatch of Switzerland has bought 15 million more shares of Xinyu Hengdeli, a mainland watch retailer listed in Hong Kong. This gives Swatch 65 million shares of Xinyu and raises its stake from 4.82 to 6.27 per cent. 

lee han shihLee Han Shih is the founder, publisher and editor of asia! Magazine.

 

Contact Han Shih