Residents may face charges
The Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) is considering pressing charges against residents of Kaohsiung County’s Taliao Township (大寮鄉) for the alleged assault of Hsu Ming-lun (許明倫), a senior IDB official in the Industrial Sustainable Development Department, an IDB official, who declined to be named, said yesterday.
The bureau is reviewing videotapes shot by members of the press to determine if there is any evidence which can be used to file a credible complaint, the official said.
The comments came after Minister of Economic Affairs Yiin Chii-ming (尹啟銘) told reporters yesterday morning that the bureau would not tolerate violence and would press charges if necessary.
On Sunday, a group of Taliao residents surrounded a wastewater treatment plant inside Kaohsiung County’s Tafa Industrial Complex (大發工業區) and clashed with plant workers and Hsu. The official suffered a concussion as a result.
CNOOC to boost production
China’s largest listed offshore oil and gas producer, CNOOC Ltd, yesterday said it would boost production by up to 18 percent this year, driven by new output from wells in Nigeria and Indonesia.
The firm is aiming for production of 225 million to 231 million barrels of oil equivalent this year, up from 194 million to 196 million last year, it said in a statement.
CNOOC said it also planned to increase capital expenditure by 19 percent to US$6.76 billion, despite lower oil prices. The aggressive moves come as many international players are stalling projects.
Apple sells second-hand goods
US tech giant Apple said on Monday it had started selling discounted second-hand products in China to court more customers.
The used products, offered on Apple’s Chinese online store, include iPod shuffle music players at 308 yuan (US$45) each and iMac personal computers priced at 14,000 yuan.
Apple, whose products are more expensive than its PC rivals, is struggling to gain a foothold in China.
Last year its iPod line had a 4.3 percent share of China’s portable media player market, Beijing-based consultant CCID Consulting said.
The used products, which have a one-year limited warranty, were returned to Apple by customers and went through strict quality tests before being put on the shelves again, a statement on the Web site said.
Asia currencies set to devalue
Asian central banks will pursue competitive devaluation of their currencies in the first half of the year and cut interest rates to buffer the impact of a global economic slump, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC said.
The US dollar’s rise against other major currencies in the second half of the year as benchmark policy rates of developed economies converge will also exert pressure on Asian currencies, wrote Chia Woon Khien, a Singapore-based interest rate strategist at the bank in a note yesterday.
Investors should sell the New Taiwan dollar, the Malaysian ringgit and the Singapore dollar, she wrote.
“Competitive devaluation will be more of a policy choice rather than a market-driven event given Asia’s relatively stronger economies compared to a decade ago,” she said.
NT dollar loses ground
The New Taiwan dollar lost ground against the US dollar on the Taipei Foreign Exchange yesterday, declining NT$0.104 to close at NT$33.639.
A total of US$1.15 billion changed hands during the day’s trading.