■ Banking Waterland to bid for assets \n \nTaiwan's Waterland Financial Holdings (國票金融控股公司) plans to bid for assets and liabilities of the failed Kaohsiung Business Bank (高雄企銀), a Chinese-language newspaper reported, citing Waterland Financial's board of directors. Waterland Financial will tomorrow bid for the remaining operations of Kaohsiung Business and fold them into a banking unit of its holding company, the report said. Rival bidder Taishin Financial Holdings Co may not bid for Kaohsiung Business because it's more interested in First Financial Holding Co, the report said. Dallas-based Lone Star Funds in June bought the bad loans of Kaohsiung Bank for NT$8.23 billion (US$240 million), leaving the lender's assets, including 60 branches and subsidiaries, and liabilities to other interested buyers. \n \n■ Business law \nHRW blasts sentence \n \nChinese courts are undermining the rule of law by using state secrecy legislation to protect powerful local business interests, a human rights group charged Friday. The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) condemned a Shanghai appeals court ruling on Thursday that upheld a three-year jail term for property lawyer Zheng Enchong, convicted of passing state secrets to foreigners. The group called on Beijing to intervene. Zheng was sentenced in October on charges of "illegally providing state secrets to entities outside of China" after faxing two public documents to Human Rights in China that the Shanghai Secrets Bureau then designated as confidential. According to statistics cited by HRW, in Shanghai 850,000 households and 2.5 million residents have been relocated in the past decade. "Even the official Peoples Daily criticizes judicial mistreatment of evicted tenants and calls for their rights to be protected," said an HRW spokesperson. "Why is Mr Zheng in jail for saying the same thing?" \n \n■ Toys \nTaiwan becomes EU's No. 4 \n \nTaiwan has become the EU's fourth-largest source for toy imports, according to the latest statistics released Saturday by the EU Executive Commission. The tallies show that EU toy imports nearly doubled to 11.5 billion euros last year from 5.8 billion euros in 1995. According to the statistics, China was the EU's largest toy supplier, followed by Japan, the US and Taiwan, in that order. During the same five-year period, the EU's video game imports also increased from 540 million euros to 2.47 billion euros, with Japan as its largest supplier. \n \n■ Luxury goods \nGucci heads to bow out \n \nDomenico De Sole and Tom Ford, the men who rebuilt luxury goods group Gucci, are likely to bow out on a high note. The two men, respectively chief executive and top designer, are leaving the group in April, when Pinault-Printemps-Redoute takes control. The group revealed Friday that it had turned in a strong performance in the three months to the end of October and was expecting an "outstanding" fourth quarter. Gucci's chain-bit handbags and the autumn ready to wear collection have brought buyers back into the stores, with strong growth in the US, Europe and Asia. Along with its peers in the luxury goods sector, Gucci has suffered from the slowdown in international tourism caused by the SARS outbreak and the Iraq war, but yesterday De Sole said all the divisions had "performed extremely well."
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
‘ONE-STOCK SHOW’: Turnover hit an all-time high as TSMC continued to determine the local market’s direction and surpassed Visa in market capitalization The TAIEX early yesterday hit an all-time intraday high on the back of soaring Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) shares, before tumbling back to the previous day’s close as the contract chipmaker could not single-handedly prop up the index. The TAIEX rose more than 400 points in the first 20 minutes of trading to hit a record 13,031.7 points, but later pared its gains to close down 0.01 percent at 12,586.73. Turnover was NT$343.252 billion (US$11.63 billion), the highest in the Taiwan Stock Exchange’s history. TSMC continued to dictate the market’s direction, as its early surge by the daily
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion