Investment in Taiwan surges
The number of investment projects launched by Taiwan’s private sector surged in the first 11 months of the year, with the value of committed investments reaching 90 percent of the annual target, the Ministry of Economic Affairs reported on Friday. The number of approved new private sector investment projects totaled 2,078 from January to last month and were worth NT$930.5 billion (US$31 billion), 88.86 percent of the target set by the government for the sector for this year, according to the ministry’s latest statistics. The amount was NT$79.3 billion more than at the end of October and represented an increase of 29.58 percent year-on-year. Projects launched by electronics and information technology manufacturers topped the list with investments worth NT$399.8 billion, according to the ministry.
Germany committed to Euro
Eurozone countries including Germany are committed to defending the stability of the single currency, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Friday. “All European countries are determined to keep this European currency stable and we have the means to do it,” he said in an interview published in the online edition of the Wall Street Journal. “Sometimes it takes crises so that Europe moves forward. In this crisis, Europe will find steps toward further unification,” Schaeuble said. Germans were “far too sensible” to abandon the euro because of the benefits of the currency to the country’s export machine, he added.
Japan, Russia plan deal
Japan and Russia are to jointly build a liquid natural gas (LNG) plant in the Russian port of Vladivostok, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported yesterday. The Japanese side, led by the trade and industry ministry as well as major trading house Itochu, is expected to sign an accord with Russian gas giant Gazprom later this month to begin feasibility studies, the daily said. The plant is set to come online in 2017 with an annual production capacity of more than 5 million tonnes of LNG, it said, adding that total investment in the project is estimated at several billion dollars. The two sides also plan to build a chemical plant there, the Yomiuri said.
GE boosts dividend
General Electric Co (GE) is boosting its quarterly dividend by US$0.02 to US$0.14 per share. That marks a 17 percent increase and the second time the company has raised its quarterly dividend this year. GE says it can bump its dividend because of its strong cash generation, recovery at its lending unit GE Capital and solid performance in its industrial businesses this year. The company slashed the dividend in February 2008 by 68 percent because it needed cash to shore up GE Capital during the financial crisis. The dividend will be paid on Jan. 25 to shareholders of record on Dec. 27.
Programmer guilty of theft
A former Goldman Sachs programmer was convicted on Friday of stealing a secret computer code that enables high-speed trading from the company when he took a new job with a rival last year. The jury in US District Court in Manhattan convicted Sergey Aleynikov of theft of trade secrets and transportation of stolen property in interstate and foreign commerce. Aleynikov could face up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on March 18. Aleynikov and his lawyer, Kevin Marino, declined to comment after the verdict.