NEW DELHI (March 23)—South Korea´s Hankook Tire Manufacturing Co. Ltd. is considering an alliance with India´s Birla Tyres. A senior official of Calcutta-based Birla confirmed initial talks have begun and will be expanded before the end of March when the head of Hankook Asia Pacific, B.J. Kim, visits India to begin formal negotiations. The official said the management of Birla Tyres is favorably inclined to discuss giving a partial stake to the South Korean tire maker. He said the talks are part of Birla Tyres´ decision to go in for an equity partnership with a foreign partner. The company hopes to attract a bid of $100 million or more to cover the purchase of a shareholding as well as to fund the company´s expansion program. Birla Tyres´ plant at Balasore manufactures bias-ply truck and bus tires and plans establish radial capacity.