Private investment robust
Private investment in Taiwan totaled NT$386 billion (US$ 12.2 billion) in the first quarter of the year, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Friday. The amount was 37.57 percent of the government’s full-year target of NT$1.272 trillion (US$43.1 billion), indicating that the nation is emerging from the shadow of the global financial crisis, the ministry said. Among the industries that saw growing investment, the green energy sector attracted NT$41.8 billion, amounting to 78 percent of the industry target for this year, the ministry said.
Coke raises Innocent stake
US soft drinks giant Coca-Cola has taken a majority stake in fast-expanding British smoothie maker Innocent Drinks, but its founders said on Friday that they would maintain operational control. Coca-Cola increased its stake in Innocent to 58 percent, one year after taking an inital 18 percent share. Financial details of the latest deal were not revealed.
Cemex to invest in Peru
Mexico’s Cemex, the world’s third-largest cement maker, said on Friday it would invest up to US$100 million in Peru to build a production plant with investment firm Blue Rock Cement Holdings. The new plant will have an initial capacity of 1 million tonnes of cement per year, a statement from the company’s headquarters in the northern city of Monterrey said. The company aims to complete construction of the US$230 million plant in early 2013.
Official optimistic on loan
Finance Minister Steingrimur Sigfusson on Friday expressed optimism that the country would receive final approval for a crucial IMF loan payout, after an agreement was reached on its conditions. “I’m very optimistic that the path is clear and we will get the review,” Steingrimur Sigfusson said, adding that he expected “a unanimous decision” from the IMF board. The IMF and Iceland on Friday announced an agreement on the conditions for the controversial US$159 million IMF loan payment, which awaits IMF board approval.
Fund buys ‘Reader’s Digest’
A management buy-out backed by an investment company has saved the British division of Reader’s Digest from administration, the deal’s organizers said on Friday. The British arm collapsed into administration on Feb. 17, six months after its US parent group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and almost 100 potential buyers had expressed interest to administrators. Better Capital Ltd said its BECAP fund had backed the buy-out in a transaction valued at £13 million (US$20 million). Managing director Chris Spratling will remain head of the company.
Hiring practices probed
The US Department of Justice is investigating whether some of the biggest technology companies agreed not to recruit each others’ employees, violating antitrust laws, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. The investigation is looking into hiring practices at companies including Apple Inc, Google Inc, IAC/InterActiveCorp, International Business Machines and Intel Corp, the newspaper reported. In particular, the Justice Department is investigating whether computer engineers and other workers have missed opportunities to move to better-paying jobs because of these companies’ hiring practices, the newspaper said.
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
’WHITE BOX’: The open platform would give local firms access to Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop 5G telecom equipment and tap into the global market The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday introduced a new 5G “open lab” in collaboration with US-based information technology and networking giant Cisco Systems Inc to address the rapidly growing “white box” 5G networking equipment market. The open lab will be a platform where Taiwanese manufacturers can access Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop their own 5G telecom equipment, such as small-cell base stations, network switches, modems and Internet of things (IoT) devices, a ministry statement said. The open platform would allow Taiwanese manufacturers to tap into the lucrative 5G telecom equipment market, which was previously monopolized by Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB
Nintendo Co is raising its target for Switch production to about 25 million units this fiscal year, people familiar with the matter said, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic keeps lifting demand and component shortages ease. The Kyoto, Japan-based company, which in April hiked orders to 22 million units by March next year, is asking partners to tack on another few million units, said the people, who did not want to be identified discussing internal goals. Assembly partners plan to work at maximum capacity through December. The new production target suggests that Nintendo is likely to outperform its Switch sales forecast of 19 million
NERVOUS MARKET: With the infection sources still unknown for three COVID-19 cases that had departed Taiwan, investors have become uneasy, an analyst said Local shares yesterday came under heavy downward pressure, falling more than 1 percent as renewed fears over a possible increase in domestic COVID-19 infections hit market sentiment after the nation last week reported a case related to a Belgian national. Selling focused on the bellwether electronics sector, led by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), which pushed down the broader market as investors ignored gains posted by tech heavyweights on the US market at the end of last week, dealers said. The TAIEX closed down 151.77 points, or 1.2 percent, at 12,513.03, on turnover of NT$231.43 billion (US$7.84 billion). Foreign