HKTDC to open local branch
The Ministry of Economic Affairs approved an application by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC, 香港貿易發展局) to set up a branch in Taiwan, a government statement said on Friday. HKTDC officially applied to set up its branch in Taiwan on Aug. 8, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA, 外貿協會), the HKTDC’s Taiwanese counterpart, said in the statement. Custom statistics show that bilateral trade between Taiwan and Hong Kong reached US$39.8 billion last year, accounting for 8.54 percent of Taiwan’s trade.
Israel agrees to pay wages
Ending a tense standoff, an Israeli company said on Friday it had agreed to pay wages to Chinese laborers who were working on a luxury resort project that was suddenly halted by the global financial crisis. Ashtrom Group Ltd said it would pay the 60 workers who had prevented employees of the Israeli company from leaving the work site on the tiny island of West Caicos, said Ygal Yancovitz, a Miami-based regional manager of the Israeli company. Yancovitz denied the Chinese laborers had taken Ashtrom’s employees hostage, as some had described.
Fonterra could drop Sanlu
Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd could sell its stake in a Chinese dairy venture at the center of the milk scandal that killed four babies and sickened 53,000 children. Fonterra, the world’s biggest dairy exporter, said talks were under way on a third-party acquisition of Sanlu Group Co (三鹿). The Auckland, New Zealand-based group owns 43 percent of Sanlu. “Discussions are continuing around a number of facets of Sanlu’s future,” Fonterra chief executive officer Andrew Ferrier said in a statement. “These include the possibility of Sanlu being acquired by a third party.” Feihe Dairy, a subsidiary of American Dairy Inc, was invited by the Chinese government yesterday to a meeting to discuss the future of Sanlu, Xinhua news agency said.
Production cuts announced
Japanese motorcycle makers are cutting production as demand in the US and Europe shrinks because of the global economic crisis, a report said yesterday. Top motorcycle maker Honda Motor Co intends to slash production by 10 percent for the year to March from 12 months earlier to 400,000 bikes, the Nikkei Shimbun said. Second-ranked Yamaha Motor Co has lowered its production forecasts by 20 percent for 250cc or larger bikes at its main factory in Iwata in central Japan to 350,000 to 360,000 units. Suzuki Motor Corp will reduce domestic output of motorcycles and buggy carts for the year to March by 7 percent from a year earlier to 509,000 units, the daily reported.
Bolivia to buy Ashmore shares
The Bolivian government announced late on Friday an agreement to buy all shares owned by the British company Ashmore Energy International in the local gas pipeline company Transredes. The deal followed President Evo Morales’ decision in June to nationalize the pipeline, which had led Ashmore to file for international arbitration in a Swedish court. A local media report said Ashmore wanted US$500 million in compensation for its share in the pipeline. The total value of the deal, under which Ashmore’s 25 percent stake in Transredes would be transferred to Bolivia’s national oil and gas company YPFB, has not been disclosed.
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
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
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