Still no profits at HK Disney
Hong Kong’s Disneyland theme park failed to turn a profit again last year, but says its loss narrowed thanks to higher visitor numbers. The park reported yesterday that it lost HK$718 million (US$92.3 million) last year. It lost HK$1.315 billion in 2009. The number of visitors to the park rose 13 percent last year to 5.2 million and each guest spent an average 7 percent more than the year before. Managing Director Andrew Kam said three new attractions slated to open over the next three years would help the park turn a profit, but did not give a date for when he expected that to happen.
Rio Tinto mulls expansion
Rio Tinto Group, the world’s third-largest mining company, said fourth-quarter iron ore output rose to a record as prices gained for the steelmaking ingredient. Production increased to 50.1 million metric tonnes in the three months that ended Dec. 31, from 47.2 million tons a year earlier, London-based Rio said yesterday in a statement. Chief executive Tom Albanese is looking into the possibility of expanding iron ore operations by 50 percent by 2015 at a cost of about US$14.8 billion to meet rising demand from steel mills. “Running our operations at full capacity was a priority for Rio Tinto in 2010, in an environment of strong prices for most of our commodities,” Albanese said in the statement.
Dreamliner tests resume
Boeing on Monday resumed flight tests of its 787 Dreamliner in the hope of winning over US regulators after a string of technical mishaps and delays. “Boeing has resumed certification flight testing of the 787 Dreamliner today,” the company said in a statement. It said four airplanes were back to “flight status” and two others “are expected to be flying again within the next week or so.” Last month Boeing said it had installed updated power system software and conducted rigorous reviews to confirm flight readiness after it was forced to halt tests due to an electrical fire that forced an emergency landing.
Parmalat payout sought
A Milan prosecutor has called for the confiscation of 120 million euros (US$160 million) from four international banks accused in the 2003 collapse of the Parmalat dairy empire. Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup and Bank of America are accused of not taking measures that would have prevented crimes leading to Parmalat’s 14 billion euro failure. A verdict is expected next spring. Prosecutor Eugenio Fusco is seeking 70 million euros from Citigroup, 30 million euross from Bank of America, 5.9 million euros from Morgan Stanley and 14 million euros from Deutsche Banks. Fusco also asked the court on Monday to fine the banks 900,000 euros each. The trial has the potential to recoup millions in damages for defrauded investors.
Comcast purchase imminent
US regulators were on the verge of approving cable giant Comcast’s purchase of entertainment titan NBC Universal and were due to announce the deal as early as yesterday, a US newspaper reported. The Wall Street Journal’s Web site, citing unnamed sources, said on Monday that Federal Communications Commission (FCC) officials spent the weekend making last-minute revisions to an order clearing the deal.
It added that the US Justice Department is ready to approve the deal “with conditions” shortly after the FCC gives it the green light.
Just a few years ago, the millennial generation — generally defined as those born from the early 1980s through the mid-1990s — was synonymous with youthful rebellion. However, now, as the millennials ease into early middle age, they are finding their path out of their parents’ basement to be a lot harder than it was for earlier generations. The fundamental problem is that millennials are not building wealth. The wealth of the median US household headed by someone 35 or younger has actually shrunk in inflation-adjusted terms since the mid-2000s, even as the wealth of older Americans has continued to grow. An
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
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price
NOT A PANACEA: Offering 5G services would not solve the problem of declining telecom incomes, chairman Sheih Chi-mau said, expecting a flat 5G telecom revenue Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years. Subscribers would have unlimited data transmission for monthly fees starting at NT$1,399 — the same flat rate as when the company launched its 4G service in 2014 — and they can subscribe to the highest-rate plan for NT$2,699 per month for faster data transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, the company said. Data transmission speeds would be within the range