Newmont Mining Corp wants to bar shareholders from voting on a proposal that would require a company review of waste disposal programs in Indonesia, where it is accused of poisoning villagers. \nAttorneys for the Denver-based company, the world's largest gold producer, made the request to federal regulators last week, saying the company should be allowed to exclude the proposal from a shareholder vote at its 2005 annual meeting. \nUnder the proposal, Newmont would have to evaluate its disposal programs in Indonesia and determine the degree of potential environmental and public-health risks from its mining operations. \nThe proposal was sponsored by the Office of the Comptroller of New York City on behalf of several pension funds representing New York employees, teachers, firefighters and police. \nIn response, Newmont attorneys said in a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission that the company already has accomplished what the proposal asks. \nLast week, the company admitted it had released 17 tonnes of waste mercury into the air and 16 tonnes into the water over five years, though it said the toxic releases were far below Indonesian emissions standards. \n"We were well below any Indonesian standards and well below any US Environmental Protection standards," Wayne Murdy, the company's chief executive officer, said last week in a telephone interview. "We have an excellent environmental record worldwide." \nHowever, an EPA staff member called the release of 33 tonnes of mercury into the air and water over several years at the gold mine in central Indonesia "a major concern." \nA member of another big pension fund, TIAA-CREF, is seeking a vote in hopes of barring investment in gold-mining companies because of environmental and social impacts. \nIndonesian authorities have accused its local subsidiary, Newmont Minahasa Raya, of dumping heavy metals into Buyat Bay on Sulawesi island, causing residents to develop skin diseases and tumors. Tests on the bay have produced conflicting results and villagers this week dropped a US$543 million lawsuit against Newmont Minahasa Raya.
RETAIL BANKING EXIT: Clients are concerned whether their rights would be protected, while employees were caught by surprise as the bank had just upgraded its services Citibank Taiwan Ltd (花旗台灣) yesterday said that credit card clients could continue using their cards as operations would continue normally until it sells its consumer banking business. As of February, the bank had 2.86 million credit cards in circulation in Taiwan, of which 2.17 million had been used in the past six months, ranking it sixth among all banks, data from the Financial Supervisory Commission showed. Credit card spending by Citibank clients totaled NT$15.66 billion (US$552.6 million) in February, also ranking sixth among banks in Taiwan. Citibank was the only foreign bank that made it into the top six. Customers should not
PANDEMIC EFFECT: Chromebook shipments in the first quarter more than tripled from a year earlier, driven primarily by educational institutions in North America Despite a semiconductor shortage, global PC shipments in the first quarter of this year increased 32 percent from a year earlier, preliminary data from research firm Gartner Inc showed. Shipments in the January-to-March period totaled 69.87 million units from 52.93 million units a year earlier, Gartner said in a report on Monday last week. The quarterly increase in shipments marked the fastest annual growth since it began tracking the PC market in 2000, Gartner said. “This growth should be viewed in the context of two unique factors: comparisons against a pandemic-constrained market and the current global semiconductor shortage,” Gartner research director Mikako Kitagawa
NO MONEY LAUNDERING: Banking Bureau Deputy Director-General Lin Chih-chi said transactions of more than NT$500,000 conducted in cash would need to be reported The Financial Supervisory Commission is to set up new money laundering regulations for the nation’s cryptocurrency exchanges from July 1, requiring them to report transactions valued at more than NT$500,000 (US$17,770), the commission said yesterday. The move came after the Executive Yuan earlier this month demanded that the commission establish regulations to prevent money laundering in the cryptocurrency industry. The cryptocurrency industry includes local trading platforms for cryptocurrencies, cryptocurrency wallet providers and firms that conduct security token offerings, the Executive Yuan said. The commission plans to require cryptocurrency exchanges to report any transaction of more than NT$500,000 conducted in cash, or an equivalent
TREASURY REPORT: A US government report urging the central bank to curtail its foreign-exchange intervention, coupled with soaring exports, might lift the NT dollar The New Taiwan dollar yesterday posted its biggest daily advance since December last year after a report by the US Department of the Treasury last week hinted that US President Joe Biden’s administration could exert greater pressure on Taiwan’s central bank to allow the local currency to appreciate. The NT dollar rose 0.5 percent to close at NT$28.205 against the greenback, and was emerging Asia’s best-performing currency for the day. While the Treasury report on Friday did not label Taiwan as a currency manipulator, it said the US would initiate “enhanced bilateral engagement” to address what it considers as “structural undervaluation”