New FTA begins today
A free trade agreement (FTA) between Singapore and Australia starts tomorrow following a ceremony highlighted by an exchange of notes between the two countries, officials said yesterday. Senior government officials including Australia's Foreign Minister Alexander Downer will attend a two-day meeting starting today. The pact is one of a number of FTAs Singapore has negotiated or is pursuing. Singapore has successfully completed deals with New Zealand, Japan and the European Trade Association.
Chunghwa sells shares in US
Taiwan has sold in the US a 1.5 percent stake in Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the island's dominant phone company, following a share sale in the US on July 18. Taiwan's Ministry of Transportation and Communications, which owns the stake, sold 14.5 million Chunghwa Telecom shares in the form of American depositary receipts (ADR) for US$14.24 per share, Chunghwa Telecom said in an e-mailed statement. Ten of the common shares are bundled as one ADR. The shares, which were sold to meet additional demand after the sale last week of shares on the New York Stock Exchange, sold for a 5 percent discount to today's closing price of NT$51.5 for the local shares. Last week's share sale to domestic and overseas investors raised US$1.65 billion for the island's government, which aims to transfer more than half of the shares to private ownership by the end of this year.
Cops bust counterfeiter
Officers from the Chungshan police station in downtown Taipei arrested a man Saturday for selling and distributing counterfeit brand name products. Acting on tips that vendors near a night market on Linsen North Road were selling imitation brand name products on the street, police broke into a private house in the neighborhood late Friday and seized more than 200 counterfeit Rolex watches, as well as over 200 fake Gucci, Fendi and Louis Vuitton leather bags and wallets. They arrested the owner of the house, a 40-year-old man identified as Chen, on charges of violating the Trademark Law. Police estimate that the value of the products, if they were genuine, would amount to nearly NT$10 million (US$290,000). Chen told the police that he had bought the counterfeit brand name goods from a friend surnamed Chou earlier this year . Police will also summon Chou to further investigate the case.
Chen ends suspension
President Chen Shui-bian said yesterday that the government will soon end the suspension on the hiring of Chinese fishermen imposed during the SARS outbreak as a measure to avoid the further spread of the disease. President Chen made the remarks when he met with officials and members of farmers' and fishermen's associations in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan. The president said that with the containment of SARS, the suspension on the hiring of mainland fishermen will be lifted soon, adding that the Mainland Affairs Council is presently ironing out the details. The president said that his suggestion last week to raise the monthly welfare stipend for elderly farmers by NT$1,000 (US$28.985) to NT$4,000 (US$115.942) will cost the government about NT$8.4 billion (US$243.478 million) per year based on the fact that there are about 700,000 elderly farmers around Taiwan.
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
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
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