Ford recalls 8,270 Escapes
Ford is recalling about 8,270 of its 2013 model Escape SUVs due to a problem with carpet padding that can interfere with braking, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on Sunday. “Ford is recalling certain model year 2013 Escape vehicles … Due to mis-positioned carpet padding, the center console trim panel may be pushed outboard of the intended position, reducing clearance relative to the pedal package … increasing stopping distances and the risk of a crash,” it said. Ford plans to make needed repairs at no cost to owners of recalled cars, the administration said.
GSK raises Genome bid
GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) raised its hostile takeover offer for Human Genome Sciences Inc to about US$14 a share, Reuters reported, citing two people familiar with the situation. The proposed cash purchase is subject to approval of some last-minute details and may be announced before markets open in the US on Monday, the news agency reported on its Web site. Glaxo’s earlier US$13-a-share offer for Human Genome, which valued the Rockville, Maryland-based biotechnology company at US$2.6 billion, is set to expire at 5pm New York time on Friday. Buying Human Genome would give Glaxo full control over marketing Benlysta, a treatment for lupus. The two companies are also collaborating on two experimental medicines that are in late-stage testing: Albiglutide for diabetes and Darapladib for hardening of the arteries.
Inflation slows, but still high
The country’s inflation slowed to 7.25 percent last month from a year earlier, official data showed yesterday, but it remained above the central bank’s comfort level, making further rate cuts difficult. Last month’s reading was below the median forecast of 7.60 percent in a poll of 18 economists by Dow Jones Newswires and also lower than the reading for May of 7.55 percent. In the data released yesterday by the ministry of commerce and industry, the government raised the April inflation reading to 7.50 percent from the 7.23 percent reported earlier.
Property prices plummet
Home sales in the city state posted their biggest drop in two and a half years in the second quarter as prices rebounded to a record, a government report showed. Private residential property sales declined 17 percent to 5,572 units in the three months ended June 30 from the previous quarter, according to data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority yesterday.
Menzies cuts airport arm
Britain’s John Menzies PLC said its aviation services arm would shut cargo operations at four airports in the UK by next month and take a related charge of ￡3 million pounds (US$4.66 million). Menzies Aviation would exit its cargo operations at Glasgow, Birmingham, East Midlands and Manchester airports to return its UK cargo business to profitability, John Menzies said. The aviation services subsidiary would focus on its cargo business at London’s Heathrow airport and Aberdeen and Belfast. In March, John Menzies said its aviation business had overtaken its core newspapers and magazine distribution business in the UK in terms of profit and cash contribution.
From the customer’s perspective, car rental is a straightforward business. The only uncertainty is whether the hire company will charge you for the scratch they discover when you hand back the vehicle. Hertz Global Holdings Inc’s bankruptcy protection filing on Friday last week was a reminder that today even the simplest business models are underpinned by a lot more financial complexity than meets the eye. The proximate cause of Hertz’s demise was of course the sudden collapse in bookings caused by COVID-19 travel restrictions. The company’s monthly revenue last month fell 73 percent year-on-year, a shortfall that even the most resilient
Uber Technologies Inc, Lyft Inc and Airbnb Inc have slashed thousands of jobs. Salesforce.com Inc and Visa Inc are letting employees work remotely for months; Twitter Inc and Square Inc are allowing them to do so for good. For the companies’ hometown of San Francisco, the moves are early signs of a dire blow. In a city with a long history of booms, busts and natural calamities, the COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly upended nearly a decade of prosperity. While municipalities across the US are grappling with economic fallout from the virus, San Francisco stands to take a deeper hit given its high
BULK PURCHASE: The French chain and Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International reached a deal covering 224 stores, which is expected to be finalized by year’s end Carrefour SA yesterday announced it would acquire Wellcome Taiwan Co (惠康百貨) for 97 million euros (US$108.33 million), and bring all the Wellcome supermarkets (頂好超市) and Jasons Market Place stores nationwide under its banner within 12 months of the deal closing. The France-based hypermarket chain reached an agreement with Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International Holdings (牛奶國際控股), the pan-Asian retailer that launched Wellcome Taiwan in 1987. The transaction involves 199 Wellcome supermarkets, which have average sales areas of 420m2 and 25 high-end Jasons Market Place stores, which have an average sales area of 820m2, as well as a warehouse in Taoyuan, Carrefour Taiwan (家樂福)
‘ONE-STOP SHOP’: A Miaoli official said that the factory in the Jhunan section of the Hsinchu Science Park would create more than 1,000 jobs and boost prosperity A new high-end IC packaging and testing plant planned by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) in Miaoli County is expected to start operations in the middle of next year, Miaoli County Commissioner Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) said. Hsu wrote on Facebook that TSMC, the world’s largest pure wafer foundry operator, would invest NT$303.2 billion (US$10.1 billion) to build the plant, the largest-ever single investment in Taiwan. However, TSMC declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal, while a company board meeting on May 12 approved a spending plan worth NT$168.2 billion as part of its investment plans. Construction of the