Taiwan's financial restructuring may lead to a higher unemployment rate, said Christine Lagarde, head of the global division of Chicago-based Baker & McKenzie, one of the world's largest law firms. \n"I think the key issue is to deal with people," Lagarde told the Taipei Times yesterday. "In the context of a restructuring of that size, some people are going to be let go and unemployment will rise as a result." \nLagarde has practiced employment law since 1981. She said that corporate restructuring is an inevitable trend around the world. \n"Companies should reorganize their assets based on consolidated assets, which means keeping their best talent," she said. \nLagarde made the remarks after delivering a speech yesterday entitled "Legal Challenges for the 21st century" at the event, which was co-sponsored by the European Council of Commerce and Trade (ECCT) and the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham). \nRecent mergers and acquisitions in Taiwan's financial sector, such as the one between First Commercial Bank (第一銀行), Dah An Bank (大安銀行) and Pan Asia Bank (泛亞銀行), may spark a wave of financial restructuring in Taiwan. \nSome have predicted that the unemployment rate will rise as a result, although the bankers have denied that they will cut jobs. Lagarde, a French national who operates from the firm's Chicago headquarters, said that Taiwan is relatively well prepared for the reforms, though China is not as fortunate. Triggering reforms in China, particularly the financial sector, may be the mainland's impending entry into the WTO, Lagarde said. \nBut that will not happen soon as Chinese trade negotiators are adopting a gradualist approach to China's financial deregulation. \n"Chinese negotiators are careful not to negotiate a short transition period [after WTO entry], but try to slow down the process in [the financial] sector," she said. \nOne of the major challenges in the coming years will be the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) in China, she said. \n"If we look at the intellectual property practices in Hong Kong and the Beijing office, [we see that] it is a very active sector -- which means there is a lot of piracy and that is giving us lawyers a lot of work," she said. \nBaker McKenzie, arguably the world's largest law firm, has 61 offices in 35 countries. \nAnother big challenge Taiwan companies must face is the draining of talent to North America and China. Regarding this situation, Lagarde advised making improvements in the domestic working environment. \n"Money is important because it will attract people ... but the atmosphere in which people work is also important," she said. "They want to have fun, enjoy themselves, and feel that their company is like a family."
PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
BAD RAP: The exchange said Tatung had seriously breached shareholders’ rights and failed to give a satisfactory explanation of its board election dispute Tatung Co (大同) shares yesterday plunged by the maximum daily limit of 10 percent to NT$18.90, the lowest in three months, after the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) on Tuesday evening changed the company’s classification to a full-delivery stock effective tomorrow. The TWSE’s move follows the company’s failure to give a clear and satisfactory explanation of why it deprived dozens of shareholders of their voting rights during a board election at the annual shareholders’ meeting on Tuesday morning. Under the exchange’s regulations, investors are not allowed to engage in margin trading of a full-delivery stock, TWSE spokeswoman Rebecca Chen (陳麗卿) told
With the US dollar expected to weaken in the next 12 months due to near-zero interest rates, investors should consider purchasing US corporate bonds, Standard Chartered Bank Taiwan Ltd (渣打台灣銀行) said on Thursday. The bank said that the US Federal Reserve since last month has been buying bonds issued by US companies to curb default rates. The US dollar is forecast to be weaker against the pound, the euro and the yen, as well as the Canadian dollar, the Swedish krona and the Swiss franc, as the greenback lacks high investment returns after the Fed in March slashed the benchmark interest rate
SIZE MATTERS: Medium-sized hotels that do not have the support of parent groups are more vulnerable and are forced to take action, a REPro Knight Frank researcher said About 50 hotels across Taiwan are seeking to exit the market as they succumb to the bleak business outlook amid international travel restrictions imposed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Yomi Hotel (優美飯店) on Minsheng E Road, Sec 1, in Taipei is seeking to transfer ownership with an asking price of NT$950 million (US$32.15 million) and a pledge for a lease contract that guarantees a 3 percent return. The budget hotel, with room rates that start from NT$1,400 per night, maintains normal operations, but has been struggling since March, when the government placed restrictions on inbound and outbound travel. Occupancy rates for hotels in