India eases regulations
Leading gold buyer India has announced it has eased controls on imports of the yellow metal after its current account deficit narrowed sharply. India, the world’s second-biggest gold buyer after China, imposed the import restrictions last year to avert a trade deficit crisis that pushed the rupee to record lows. “Restrictions placed on import of gold ... stand withdrawn with immediate effect,” India’s central bank said in a statement on Saturday. The so-called 80:20 import rule meant 20 percent of all imported gold had to be exported before any new shipments could be brought in.
Malaysia Airlines apologizes
Malaysia Airlines apologized on Saturday for a year-end promotion tweet that sparked anger on Twitter after it inadvertently drew parallels with the still-missing Flight MH370. The airlines said the tweet “was intended to inspire travelers during this holiday period to explore destinations and deals” it was offering. It is the second time the carrier, which has been devastated by the loss of 537 people in two air tragedies this year, has run into criticism over its advertising recently. The airlines on Friday reported its third-quarter loss widened 54 percent year-on-year, the seventh straight quarterly loss for the airline.
Lazada raises 200m euros
Lazada, the Southeast Asian e-commerce company founded by Germany’s Rocket Internet, has raised 200 million euros (US$250 million) in a new funding round led by Singapore state-owned investment company Temasek. Rocket Internet said in a statement that Temasek had joined existing investors, including Rocket, Kinnevik and Verlinvest in the funding round, which valued Lazada at 1 billion euros. Rocket said it contributed 15.3 million euros, with its stake in the business slipping to 23.8 percent from 26.7 percent. It did not say how much the other investors had contributed to the 200 million euro total or detail their stakes.
Focus on German lenders
Consolidation of the banking sector following the European Central Bank’s stress tests would probably concentrate on German lenders, according to Commerzbank AG chief executive officer Martin Blessing. “The question now is where consolidation will happen and I assume it’ll happen within Germany, and not within the private banking sector,” he said at the Sueddeutsche Zeitung Economic Summit in Berlin on Saturday. Germany’s banking system had about 2,000 institutions last year, according to the BdB Association of German Banks. About 300 of those are private banks, including Germany’s two largest lenders, Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank, while savings banks and cooperative banks accounted for the rest.
Canada ups grain shipments
Canada extended an order that requires the nation’s two largest railways to ship a minimum amount of grain each week until March 28. The government said the measure is to ensure that the remainder of last year’s crop is moved along with this year’s and that normal operations of the grain supply chain are maintained, according to a statement. The new order sets new weekly quotas ranging from 200,000 tonnes to 465,000 tonnes depending on the week. Failure to do so could result in penalties of as much as US$100,000 per violation.
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
NO VIRUS BLUES: A SEMI Taiwan official said that the virus does not slow down the global semiconductor industry’s investment in manufacturing equipment The production value of the nation’s semiconductor industry is expected to grow 16.7 percent this year from last year, outpacing the global industry’s 3.3 percent growth, industry association SEMI said yesterday. That would help Taiwan safeguard its second spot in the global semiconductor market with a production value of more than NT$3 trillion (US$102.73 billion), SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) told a media briefing in Taipei for the Semicon Taiwan trade show beginning today. The global semiconductor industry’s production value is expected to increase to US$426 billion this year, SEMI said. In terms of semiconductor equipment investment, equipment billings from Taiwanese firms