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Hyundai fends off increase in DaimlerChrysler stake

A German media report says the exercise of DaimlerChrysler's option to increase its stake in Hyundai would be seen as hostile action in Korea. In the context of a dispute over joint ventures with Chinese manufacturer Beijing Automotive Holding Co (BAIC), a Hyundai spokesman is quoted in today's German magazine Der Spiegel as saying that Hyundai Motor Co has pronounced against any move by DaimlerChrysler AG to increase its 10.4% stake in Hyundai to 15%. DaimlerChrysler has an option to do so under the terms of their alliance. Hyundai is reportedly dipleased by DaimlerChrysler's formation of a joint venture in China with (BAIC), which Hyundai Motor believes to be its own exclusive JV partner. DaimlerChrysler is also in the headlines this week as the lawsuit brought by ex-Chrysler shareholder Kirk Kerkorian goes to court in the US. This week Kerkorian himself takes the witness stand to argue his case that DaimlerBenz misrepresented its alleged takeover of Chrysler Corp. as a merger, to be detriment of Chrysler shareholders. DaimlerChrysler CEO Juergen Schrempp and other witnesses called by the Kerkorian side are due in court next week.

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