Newmount hit by new laws
US mining giant Newmont said yesterday it has ceased production at its Indonesian gold and copper mine due to controversial new rules governing the sector in Southeast Asia’s top economy. Newmont has not shipped copper concentrate overseas since the rules were introduced in January. They include a ban on the export of some unprocessed minerals and higher taxes for some commodities that can still be shipped out of the country. Copper concentrate, a major export for Newmont and its US peer, Freeport McMoRan, was exempt from the ban, but the companies still faced paying the new, higher taxes on shipments of the product.
Centerra threatens closure
Canada’s Centerra Gold on Monday threatened to close its mine in Kyrgyzstan unless its receives long-awaited government approvals for its annual mine plan and related operating permits by Friday next week. The company has been in discussions with Kyrgyzstan officials since late last year about greenlighting its proposals for operations this year at the Kumtor mine, located at the foot of glaciers high in the Tien Shan mountains. The mine is Kyrgyzstan’s biggest employer and taxpayer, according to Centerra.
PlayStation Portable era ends
Sony Corp is pulling the plug on its hand-held PlayStation Portable (PSP) video game machine after 10 years. The Japanese electronics and entertainment company has been pushing the successor machine, PlayStation Vita. Tokyo-based Sony said yesterday that PSP shipments ended in North America in January, are to end in Japan this month and later this year in Europe. Discounts on Vita and downloads are offered to Japanese PSP owners, but are still undecided for those overseas.
Chromebooks market expands
Google on Monday used painful prose to proclaim that Chromebooks designed to push computing into the “cloud” are heading for more countries. “Chromebooks are coming to nine more nations; to improve computing for all generations,” Google marketing executive and “occasional versifier” David Shapiro said in a rhyming blog. Subsequent verses were dedicated to Chromebooks going to Norway, Denmark, Chile, Mexico, Spain, Italy, Belgium, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
World Bank sees stability
The World Bank does not expect major changes in its global growth forecast, even as advanced economies improve and emerging markets adjust to a reduction in US stimulus, managing director Bertrand Badre said in an interview in Singapore yesterday, before the bank’s next global update due this month. The Washington-based lender said in January that it sees the world economy expanding 3.2 percent this year, compared with a projection in June last year of 3 percent. Developed nations are doing better, while Europe grapples with low inflation, Badre said.
Tesco seeks to reshape
Tesco PLC, Britain’s biggest retailer, is creating two roles on its executive committee, chief executive Phil Clarke said on Monday, hoping to “reshape” the company and meet changing customer needs amid price cuts and a weak food market. Jill Easterbrook, who is currently running Tesco’s emerging health and well-being businesses, is to become the chief customer officer. Matt Atkinson is to take on the role of chief creative officer, Clarke said.
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