Tajikistan pipeline planned
Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) signed a deal at a regional summit to build a gas pipeline through the impoverished ex-Soviet country of Tajikistan, Tajik television reported on Saturday. The pipeline will transport gas from energy-rich Turkmenistan to China in as part of a huge supply deal. “Carrying out this project will allow us to attract more than US$3 billion of direct investments from China into the economy of Tajikistan,” the press service of Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonv said. It will supply China with between 25 billion and 30 billion cubic meters of oil per year, the press service said. China is eyeing the vast oil and gas resources of ex-Soviet Central Asia for its fast-growing domestic economy and is also keen to assert political influence in a region that was dominated by Moscow for decades. The new pipeline is due for completion in 2016 and will run for more than 400km within Tajikistan.
Finance tax work goes on
The European Commission rebuffed on Saturday an EU legal opinion that questioned the legality of a planned financial transaction tax and said work on the levy in 11 countries would go on. The legal services of the European Council, the institution which represents governments of the 28-nation union, said in their 14-page legal opinion dated Sept. 6 that the commission’s transaction tax plan “exceeded member states’ jurisdiction for taxation under the norms of international customary law.” Finance ministers discussed the financial transaction tax briefly on Saturday, with the commission saying there was a misunderstanding on the opinion. Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Portugal, Belgium, Estonia, Greece, Slovakia and Slovenia were planning to adopt the tax on stocks, bonds, derivatives, repurchase agreements and securities lending. European Commissioner Algirdas Semeta, who is responsible for taxation, said first reading of the proposal by the member states was already concluded.
Goods from Kosovo and Macedonia crossed their border yesterday, ending a trade dispute that closed the frontier between the neighbors to goods and vehicles for six days. The dispute started in July, when Macedonia limited the import of wheat and flour from all members of the Central European Free-Trade Agreement, including Kosovo, in an effort to protect domestic production. Kosovo first responded by banning imports of Macedonian food, beverages and cigarette products, and then introduced a blanket ban on Macedonian goods from midnight on Sunday last week, after Skopje introduced a levy on Kosovars entering Macedonia. After days of talks between the two countries failed to break the deadlock, the ban ended only after the Macedonian limit on flour expired yesterday and Kosovo lifted its restrictions.
Home purchases likely fell
Purchases of previously owned homes probably fell last month as mortgage rates at a two-year high began to slow the progress in residential real estate, economists said before a report this week. Contract closings fell 2.6 percent to a 5.25 million annualized rate from the highest level since November 2009, according to the median forecast of 62 economists in a Bloomberg survey ahead of National Association of Realtors data due on Thursday. Another report is projected to show home construction starts rose last month.
HEAVY INVESTMENT: Moody’s affirmed the firm’s ‘Aa3’ rating with a ‘stable’ outlook due to its leading position in the industry and ability to match customer requirements Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) revenue this year is expected to increase about 21 percent to NT$1.29 trillion (US$44.01 billion) from NT$1.07 trillion last year, driven by strong demand for advanced 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips mainly used in smartphones and high-performance computing devices, a Moody’s Investors Service report on Wednesday said. TSMC’s rate of revenue growth next year is to increase to 7.5 percent, the ratings agency said. The company, which supplies 5-nanometer chips for Apple Inc’s new iPad series, has introduced the advanced chips ahead of its competitors and gained a significant share of the market for the foundry industry’s
Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控) yesterday said that its insurance unit would adjust its investment portfolio after being banned from buying new stocks a day earlier by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC). “We will research what we can do based on the commission’s specific instructions after we receive the regulator’s formal documents,” Shin Kong Financial spokesman Sunny Hsu (徐順鋆) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The commission on Tuesday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$941,722) for reckless investment, and demanded that the insurer reduce its overseas investment ratio from 43 percent to 39 percent. The fine would affect
Taipei Times: When do you think the hospitality industry can return to how it was before the COVID-19 pandemic? How does Formosa International Hotels Group (FIH, 晶華酒店集團) fare this quarter and beyond? FIH chairman Steve Pan (潘思亮): The virus outbreak will have a serious impact on business travel, driven mainly by meetings, incentive travel, conferences and exhibitions over the past three decades. For the past six months, many businesspeople have grown used to exchanging information on the Internet, where more people can participate. The trend might sustain for three to five years until people are vaccinated and it is safe to
DIGITAL COMMERCE: In 2016, only 2 percent of orders were delivered in Taiwan, but that has risen to 10 percent, Foodpanda Taiwan Co operations director Nick Yu said Online food delivery platforms have seen explosive growth in Taiwan this year, helped by business opportunities related to the COVID-19 pandemic, company executives said at a digital commerce conference in Taipei yesterday. When the threat of COVID-19 kept people from going out to eat, more people experimented with ordering food deliveries online, Foodpanda Taiwan Co Ltd (富胖達) operations director Nick Yu (余岳勳) said. Foodpanda started operations in Taiwan in 2012. “We experienced 5,000 percent growth in the past 24 months,” Yu said. “That’s more than the previous six years combined.” In 2016, only 2 percent of food orders were delivered in Taiwan, but that