Brent hits four-year low
Crude oil prices tumbled on Friday, with Brent crude hitting a four-year low on concerns about the global economy. Brent’s November contract was trading at US$88.40 a barrel in afternoon Asian trade, down US$1.65 from the day before and at levels last seen in November 2010. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for November delivery was down US$1.92 to US$83.85, its weakest level since June 2012. Prices of both contracts have lost about a fifth of their value since hitting this year’s peaks in June.
Exxon awarded US$1.6bn
An international arbitration panel on Thursday ordered the socialist government to pay US$1.6 billion to Exxon Mobil for the seizure of a major oil project and other losses. It is the largest award yet in a backlog of costly complaints against the nation over a wave of nationalizations in the past decade. Exxon said in a statement that the decision by the World Bank’s investment dispute panel confirmed that the South American country failed to provide fair compensation for the Cerro Negro project it seized in 2007 after the company failed to enter in a partnership proposed by state-owned PDVSA.
Google told to cut results
A court has ordered Google Inc to delete search results linking the claimant to a crime he did not commit, the latest in a series of rulings around the world on what search engines should tell users. The Tokyo District Court this week placed a provisional order that Google delete about half of the 237 entries that appear after the plaintiff’s name is entered, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper and other local media reported. The man requested the injunction in June, arguing that these search results suggest he was involved in a crime and that this constitutes a threat to his current way of life and compromises his privacy, the newspaper said.
Ex-Hanlong director charged
A former director of Chinese mining firm Hanlong (漢龍) was yesterday extradited from Hong Kong to Australia, where he appeared in court charged with 104 counts of insider trading. Australian authorities have been chasing Xiao Hui (肖輝), also known as Steven Xiao, since late 2011, when he fled the country while on bail and was declared a fugitive. Xiao appeared before the Sydney Central Local Court on the insider trading charges and was remanded in custody with the case adjourned until Nov. 26. He was not required to enter a plea with each offence carrying a maximum 10 years in jail.
PGGM to cut 200 jobs
Dutch pension fund cooperative PGGM plans to cut at least 200 jobs, or 15 percent of its workforce, as part of a restructuring program aimed at reducing costs by 50 million euros (US$63 million) a year by 2017. The restructuring is a response to changes in the Dutch pension market, which has struggled to lift returns and meet tighter government requirements since the financial crisis, the company said on Friday. The netherlands has some of the largest pension funds in the world, managing a total of around 1,000 billion euros in assets. As of September, PGGM managed 178 billion euros for funds which had a collective 2.5 million clients.
PLANNED OUT: The government is lifting sale and export restrictions on 60% of the 20 million masks made daily, but people can still make purchases using their NHI cards Twenty thousand boxes of 50 masks each would be on sale at FamilyMart convenience stores starting tomorrow, Taiwan FamilyMart Co Ltd (全家便利商店) said yesterday. A box of 50 masks would cost NT$249 for those with FamilyMart memberships and NT$299 for those without, with no limits placed on how many boxes a person can buy, the company said. Convenience store chain operator Hi-Life International Co Ltd (萊爾富) said that it would also start selling masks from tomorrow. It has yet to announce details about prices and quantity. Hypermarket chain operator Carrefour Taiwan (家樂福) said that it would start selling packs of five
BOOSTING BUYING: A source said that the idea of pre-ordering vouchers online is being considered, but the preliminary plan is for people to buy them at post offices A stimulus voucher program to be rolled out next month to boost consumption would be available not only to Taiwanese, but also foreign nationals and Chinese spouses who hold residency permits, a source familiar with the matter said yesterday. The government is fine-tuning the details of the program, which involves issuing vouchers for in-store purchases to revive buying amid the COVID-19 pandemic. During a radio interview on Monday last week, National Development Council (NDC) Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said that the plan is to allow anyone, regardless of age or income level, to buy NT$3,000 (US$99.89) worth of vouchers for
Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC, 台灣高鐵) is expected to recover quickly from the effects of COVID-19, as life returns to normal and thanks to the government’s domestic travel incentives, Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co (元大投顧) said in a note on Friday. THSRC’s business might have bottomed out after revenue fell 49.83 percent year-on-year to NT$2.03 billion (US$67.59 million) in April, the lowest in nearly 10 years, while combined revenue in the first four months dropped 26.44 percent to NT$11.63 billion, as the COVID-19 outbreak reduced ridership, the investment consultancy said. “The worst should be over in April as domestic tourism
Delta Electronics Inc (台達電), the nation’s leading power management solutions provider, has signed an agreement to acquire Canadian software firm Trihedral Engineering Ltd to bolster its smart production efforts, it said on Saturday. Delta said in a statement that it would acquire Trihedral for C$45 million (US$32.68 million) through its 100 percent-owned subsidiary Delta Electronics (Netherlands) BV. Trihedral specializes in supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and industrial Internet of Things software, which would strengthen Delta’s hardware offerings in fast-growing areas such as automation, artificial intelligence and data analytics, it said. “The collection, monitoring and analyzing of data are critical to Delta’s two