top steel maker Arcelor Mittal has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding
with Japan''s Nippon Steel Corp to extend their global strategic alliance and expand
current joint business ventures in North America.
Steel declined to confirm reports that the two have also agreed to supply one
another with steel sheet for automobiles in auto factories in Asia and Europe.
the new agreement, the Japanese steel maker would supply Arcelor Mittal with technology
for products to be used at the European plants of Japanese automakers, the Nikkei
business daily reported without naming its sources.
Mittal in return would furnish technology to the Japanese group for European carmakers''
Asian facilities, the report said.
and Nippon Steel already had joint research and development programmes as part
of a strategic alliance forged in 2001.
Steel Corp., the world''s second-biggest maker of the metal, is expanding alliances
with rivals and smaller Japanese makers of the metal as global competitors merge
to gain more bargaining power with automakers and iron ore suppliers. Akio Mimura,
Tokyo-based Nippon Steel''s president, said on May 29 the company would pursue
``soft alliances'''' rather than takeovers to boost capacity.