In Brief

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 January, 2008, 12:00am

Danone COO steps down from Wahaha Joint Ventures

Emmanuel Faber, chief operating officer of French foods giant Danone, has resigned as chairman of Danone's mainland joint venture Wahaha Joint Ventures, Caijing magazine reported. Mr Faber's resignation letter said his position as Danone's chief operating officer rendered him no longer suitable to be chairman of the joint venture because of possible conflicts of interest, the magazine said.

Danone, which owns 51 per cent of 39 joint ventures with Wahaha, last year accused its mainland partner of setting up 20 independent companies and selling products identical to those sold by the joint ventures. The issue is the subject of a US lawsuit and arbitration in Sweden and the mainland. Natalie Chiu

Government rejects Wheelock bids on Ho Man Tin, Peak sites

The Lands Department has rejected six Wheelock Properties bids to trigger the sale of a residential site in Ho Man Tin and another on the Peak last month, estimated to be worth a combined HK$10.95 billion. The department announced yesterday that it received three bids on its land application list for each of the sites.

It was the developer's 19th attempt to trigger an auction of the Ho Man Tin plot since June last year and its eighth attempt on the Peak site, however, its offers fell short of government valuations.

Surveyor Albert So Chun-hin believed the developer persevered because the sites could be developed into luxury residential projects. 'Developers can generate attractive profits from the sales of luxury residential projects rather than mass residential projects,' he said.

He estimated the 1.61 hectare site in Ho Man Tin to be worth HK$6.08 billion or HK$7,000 per square foot and the 2.33 hectare site on the Peak HK$4.87 billion or HK$15,000 per square foot. Yvonne Liu

PICC Property and Casualty posts 24pc premium growth

PICC Property and Casualty, the mainland's largest non-life insurer, said direct premium income last year totalled 88.59 billion yuan, up 24.24 per cent from a year earlier. In 2006, premium income was 71.30 billion yuan. In the first 11 months of last year, the firm reported income of 82.08 billion yuan. Natalie Chiu

Sinopec Yizheng shareholders reject share reform bid

A-share holders of Sinopec Yizheng Chemical Fibre yesterday again voted down a state share reform plan that would convert the company's non-tradable shares into ordinary shares. Last month, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec), the largest shareholder, revived the plan by offering 3.2 state-owned A shares for every 10 held, despite being rejected a year ago.

Yesterday, 74 per cent of shareholder votes opposed the proposal, leaving support well short of the two-thirds needed. Carol Chan