ECB focuses on inflation
European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi said the bank must drive inflation higher quickly, and will broaden its asset-purchase program if needed to achieve that. “We will do what we must to raise inflation and inflation expectations as fast as possible, as our price stability mandate requires,” he said yesterday at a conference in Frankfurt, Germany. Shorter-term inflation expectations “have been declining to levels that I would deem excessively low,” he said.
Singapore curbing taxi apps
Singapore yesterday announced new rules for mobile taxi booking apps, including US-based Uber, in the latest move by governments around the world to regulate the increasingly popular services. The Land Transport Authority said the apps will have to apply for a three-yearly “certificate of registration” starting from the second quarter of next year. The apps will be barred from requiring passengers to disclose their destinations when they make bookings due to concerns some taxi drivers may try to avoid certain routes, it said.
Blackstone buys Japan unit
US private equity firm Blackstone on Thursday said that it would buy the residential real-estate arm of General Electric Co’s property unit in Japan for more than ￥190 billion (US$1.6 billion), as the country’s land prices slowly recover from an asset bubble burst. The deal will see Blackstone Real Estate Partners Asia acquire the business that owns and operates more than 10,000 units in 200 properties, primarily in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka, the firm said in a statement.
Caracas ready for cuts
Venezuela is ready to cut its own oil production as a way to boost falling prices if OPEC agrees to curb output, Minister of Foreign Affairs Rafael Ramirez said on Thursday. Ramirez, who served as oil minister for 12 years until September and as longtime president of the state oil firm PDVSA, said the fair price for a barrel of oil is US$100. He said his country would make the proposal for cuts when OPEC holds talks in Vienna on November 27 for a key production meeting.
SEC wraps up bank case
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) resolved an impasse over punishing Bank of America Corp in a mortgage-bond case, clearing the way for the lender to complete a US$16.7 billion global settlement, people familiar with the matter said. In a private meeting earlier this week, SEC commissioners voted to waive most of a set of additional sanctions that could have seriously curtailed the bank’s asset management business and ability to raise money for private companies, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the decision is not yet public. Some of the relief is conditioned on the bank’s good behavior and comes with an outside monitor, the people said.
Gap cuts profit forecast
Gap Inc, the biggest US apparel-focused retailer, cut its annual profit forecast as sales at its namesake brand continue to fall. Earnings per share in the year through January will be US$2.73 to US$2.78, the San Francisco-based company said in a statement on Thursday. That’s down from the company’s earlier guidance of US$2.95 to US$3.
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