TOKYO (Reuters) - Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp, Japan’s biggest steelmaker, plans to keep its alliance with Kobe Steel Ltd, including cross-holding of shares, despite Kobe Steel’s admission that it had falsified quality data, an executive said.
“We plan to maintain our alliance with Kobe Steel,”
Toshiharu Sakae, Nippon Steel’s executive vice president, told a news conference on Friday.
“It’s a general framework under which we collaborate on anything that benefit each other, but we have not made any concrete discussions related to the latest (data fabrication) matter,” he said.
Former Nippon Steel, former Sumitomo Metal Industries and Kobe Steel went into an alliance in 2001 to cooperate in supply of steel in case of trouble or maintenance and to cross-hold shares to help defend from any takeover threat.
Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Kim Coghill