World’s top creditor nation
The country kept its position as the world’s largest creditor nation for the 22nd straight year last year, government data showed yesterday, as the US dollar’s gains helped inflate the value of overseas assets, including foreign debt and property. The nation’s net overseas assets stood at ￥296.3 trillion (US$2.9 trillion) at the end of last year, according to the finance ministry. It was followed by China, which had net overseas assets of ￥150.3 trillion last year. Germany ranked third with ￥121.9 trillion, followed by Switzerland at ￥84.7 trillion and Hong Kong with ￥63.4 trillion.
Housing crisis bites
More than 170,000 people in the city are living in cramped subdivided apartments, a government-commissioned study has found, underlining the scale of the city’s housing crisis. The study was carried out from January to last month by Policy21, a survey organization comprising academics from the University of Hong Kong. The Census and Statistics Department last October estimated 64,900 people live in subdivided apartments, cubicles, caged bed spaces and cocklofts, which are usually about 3.72m2 big.
Uniqlo pushes safety
The operator of Japanese cheap-chic clothing chain Uniqlo said yesterday it was pressing ahead with its own safety inspections in Bangladesh, while it considered joining a global pact on protecting workers. Fast Retailing, which operates the brand, said no decision had yet been made on the accord, which was promoted by international labor groups after a Bangladesh building collapse last month that killed 1,129 workers. The Bangladesh deal binds retailers to having independent building and fire safety inspections, and to pay for repairs.
Digital money boss nabbed
The founder of the Liberty Reserve digital currency business has been arrested in Spain on money-laundering charges, Costa Rican authorities said. Officials in the Central American nation said in a statement that Arthur Budovsky was detained as part of an investigation that also involved US authorities. Police raided three homes and five businesses linked to the Costa Rica-based Liberty Reserve, and seized papers and digital documents that will be turned over to US authorities, the statement said. A Russian citizen was also arrested in the case in Costa Rica on Friday last week and will be extradited to the US.
Consumers gloomy: index
French consumers are deeply pessimistic, being as gloomy as they have ever been since 1987, a monthly index compiled by the national statistics institute INSEE showed yesterday. The index, which measures household confidence, fell to 79 points this month from 83 points last month. This reading is equal to the lowest level reached since 1987, in July 2008, at the height of the financial crisis. Households also believe that the unemployment rate, now at 11 percent, will rise.
Chevron joins oil venture
Chevron Corp has agreed to lend US$2 billion to a joint venture with Venezuela’s state oil company to boost production in an oil field in Zulia state. Venezuela’s PVDSA oil company owns 60 percent of the venture, Petroboscan, and Chevron 40 percent. Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez says financing will help boost production in the Boscan field from 107,000 barrels a day to 127,000 barrels.
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
‘BIG LOSS’: This year might see the last generation of Huawei’s Kirin chips, as their production would stop next month because they are made using US technology Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is running out of processor chips to make smartphones due to US sanctions and would be forced to stop production of its own most advanced chips, a company executive has said, in a sign of growing damage to Huawei’s business from US pressure. Huawei, one of the biggest producers of smartphones and network equipment, is at the center of US-Chinese tension over technology and security. Washington last year cut off Huawei’s access to US components and technology, and those penalties were tightened in May, when the White House barred vendors worldwide from using US