Exports, inflation down
The country’s exports dropped 1.5 percent year-on-year to US$44.74 billion last month, largely as a result of the three-day Chuseok (Thanksgiving) holiday, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said yesterday. The trade surplus actually widened to US$3.71 billion, up from US$3.07 a year earlier, as imports fell 3.6 percent on-year to US$41.03 billion. Meanwhile, consumer prices grew at their slowest pace for 14 years last month, thanks to falls in farming costs, Statistics Korea said. The consumer price index rose 0.8 percent on-year, compared with a 1.3 percent gain in August.
GDP forecast cut to 2.5%
The central bank on Monday trimmed its GDP growth forecast for this year for Latin America’s leading economy from 2.7 to 2.5 percent. In its monthly report, the bank said the GDP growth in the second quarter had come in at 1.5 percent — slightly above forecasters’ expectations — while adding it expected a strong showing in the fourth quarter. The Bank added it saw consumer demand would continue on an upward path — albeit at a more “moderate” rate amid strong investment and exports after falls in the real-dollar rate.
Jobseeker number revised
The Ministry of Labor on Monday cut in half the number of jobseekers it said had left the unemployment rolls in August, blaming a “malfunction” with a mobile phone company. The ministry announced last week that the number of registered jobseekers fell in August for the first time in more than two years, dropping by 50,000 to 3.23 million. However, in a fresh statement on Monday, the ministry said that after an investigation, it was revising the figure and the number of jobseekers had fallen by only between 22,000 and 29,000.
Wells Fargo settles claim
Wells Fargo bank said it will pay US$869 million to Freddie Mac to settle claims of potential fraud in home loans it sold to the US government-controlled mortgage company. In a short statement issued on Monday night, the California-based bank said the agreement will allow it to substantially resolve liabilities on home loans it sold to Freddie Mac before 2009 and the emergence of the financial crisis.
Ubisoft expands in Montreal
Video game maker Ubisoft announced on Monday the expansion of its Montreal operations with a US$373 million investment in online gaming and motion capture technologies, expected to create 500 new jobs. The earmarked monies will be spent and new staff will be hired over the coming seven years. The Paris-based company behind such video game hits as Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell said it expects to employ up to 3,500 people at its Montreal studio by 2020 — nearly half of its global production workforce in 29 countries.
Pacific Rubiales to buy firm
Canadian oil company Pacific Rubiales on Monday said it is acquiring the local firm Petrominerales for about C$1.6 billion (US$1.55 billion). The transaction is expected to be completed late next month. Pacific Rubiales is the largest private oil company operating in Colombia. Like Petrominerales, Pacific Rubiales operates in Peru and Brazil. The Canadian company is acquiring the Colombian firm’s estimated C$640 million in debt.
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
ROW: A probe would determine if the rights of shareholders who were not allowed to vote yesterday had been violated, while the stock exchange also wants answers The election of board directors yesterday at Tatung Co (大同) sparked controversy after the company blocked some institutional and individual shareholders from participating in the general shareholders’ meeting, prompting the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) to announce that the vote would be investigated. Lin Kuo Wen-yen (林郭文艷) was re-elected as chairwoman of the household-appliance maker’s nine-member board, but prior to the vote she announced that several shareholders would not have voting rights. They were being denied a vote because they had contravened the Business Mergers and Acquisitions Act (企業併購法), and the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and