Brazil inflation hits 6.41%
Inflation in Brazil hit 6.41 percent last year, marginally below a government ceiling of 6.5 percent, but still the highest annual figure since 2011, the National Statistical Institute (IBGE) said on Friday. Prices rose last month by 0.78 percent, above November’s 0.51 percent, but below the 0.92 percent rise in December 2013, IBGE said. The official annual target is 4.5 percent, but the central target has been missed several times in recent years. The 2013 annual figure was 5.91 percent.
US Fed reports record profit
The US Federal Reserve on Friday said it had paid a record US$98.7 billion in profit to the US Treasury last year, most of it earned from its stimulus for the US economy. Under Fed policy, its 12 regional banks must pay to the federal government what is left of earnings after certain items, such as operating expenses and dividend payments, are deducted. Last year’s payment widely eclipsed the central bank’s previous record of US$88.4 billion in 2012.
SNB expects record profit
The Swiss National Bank (SNB) on Friday said it expected a record profit of 38 billion Swiss francs (US$37.5 billion) last year on the back of gains from its foreign currency holding. The bank said it would make a profit of SF34 billion from its foreign currency holdings and SF4 billion from its gold holdings, according to provisional estimates. Earlier this week, data from the bank showed the total value of its foreign currency reserves had swelled to a record SF495.1 billion by the end of last month.
Aer Lingus rejects IAG bid
International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of British Airways and Iberia, said on Friday it had made a fresh attempt to bid for Irish carrier Aer Lingus, which was rejected. It said it submitted a second takeover approach last month, offering 2.40 euros per share, up from 2.30 euros which it offered earlier in the month. IAG, which was formed in 2011, has made several acquisitions since, including Spanish low-cost airline Vueling and Britain’s BMI.
China new car sales slow
Passenger-vehicle sales rose at a slower pace in China last year as economic growth moderated and more cities imposed purchase restrictions in the world’s largest auto market. Retail deliveries climbed 10 percent to 18.9 million vehicles last year, slowing from the 17 percent gain in 2013, the China Passenger Car Association said on Friday on its Web site. Minivans and SUVs remained the fastest-growing segments, while sedan sales growth fell to 5 percent from 13 percent.
Nissan, NASA ink R&D deal
Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co and NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California, on Thursday announced a five-year research and development partnership for autonomous vehicle systems so they can eventually be applied to commercially sold cars. Automakers besides Nissan are working on the technology, including Toyota Motor Corp, General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co.
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
STAYING AHEAD: TSMC expects its sales this year to grow 14 to 19 percent and could spend up to US$3.52 billion on research and development, leaving its rivals far behind Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) reported that the US last year approved 99 percent of its patent applications, which placed the tech giant among the top patent holders in the US. In its Corporate Social Responsibility Report, TSMC said it last year secured about 3,600 patents worldwide, including more than 2,300 in the US. As of the end of last year, TSMC owned more than 39,000 patents, the report said. The company last year filed almost 6,500 patent applications worldwide and ranked among the top 10 patent applicants in the US. In Taiwan, it was the largest patent applicant for the fourth