Business

French minister: Carlos Ghosn not fit to lead Renault

TOKYO Prosecutors in Tokyo confirmed yesterday that they had arrested auto industry titan Carlos Ghosn a day earlier on allegations he under-reported his income over the course of several years.

In a statement, prosecutors said Mr Ghosn had reported income of 4.9 billion yen (S$60 million) over five years when his actual income for that period had been nearly 10 billion yen.

Shares of Nissan Motor fell 6 per cent early yesterday, a day after the arrest of its chairman and chief executive Mr Ghosn sent shockwaves through the business world and threw into doubt the future of Japan's No. 2 automaker and its global alliance.

Nissan said on Monday that Mr Ghosn was arrested for alleged financial misconduct and would be fired from the board this week.

Mr Ghosn is also chairman and CEOof Nissan's French partner, Renault.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said yesterday that Mr Ghosn is no longer fit to lead Renault.

"Carlos Ghosn is no longer in a position capable of leading Renault," Mr Le Maire told France Info radio.

Mr Le Maire said he had ordered an inquiry into Mr Ghosn's tax affairs immediately after learning of his arrest in Japan but that it showed up "nothing in particular about his tax situation".

The French government owns 15 per cent of Renault, which in turn holds a 43.4 per cent stake in Nissan.

Mr Le Maire said he would contact his Japanese counterpart over the matter and reiterated that France's priority was to ensure the stability of the Renault company. - AFP, REUTERS

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