China coal production drops
China recorded its first drop in coal production since 2000 last year, as the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter reduces its use of coal and switches to cleaner energy sources. According to China’s National Coal Association, China produced 3.5 billion tonnes of coal in the first 11 months of last year, 2.1 percent less than the same period in 2013. The association estimates the drop for the entire year would reach 2.5 percent. The report, quoted by Xinhua news agency on Friday, said the profits of major Chinese coal companies dropped 44 percent in that same period to 110.5 billion yuan (US$17.73 billion) amid low global coal prices.
Japan to buy more US rice
Japan has offered to import more rice from the US in a compromise aimed at pushing forward the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Nikkei Business Daily reported yesterday. The report, citing unidentified sources, said Japan was offering to increase its tariff-free quota for imported rice and import “tens of thousands” of tonnes of additional rice from the US. It plans to maintain existing rice tariffs, it said. In turn, the US has dropped its request that Japan ease safety standards on car imports, the report said.
Cairo Carrefour recovers
The owner of Carrefour SA’s franchise for the Middle East is to pursue expansion in Egypt after business at a shopping mall in Cairo’s suburbs has recovered from looting seen during the 2011 revolt that ended former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s rule. “There is probably no worse challenge than 2011 when the mall was looted,” Majid Al Futtaim Holding LLC chief executive officer Iyad Malas said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “We decided to reinstate the asset, all the tenants came back, trading has come back, actually it’s better than pre-crisis level.” The company plans to open another mall — Mall of Egypt — in the first quarter of next year, Malas said.
UK to release GDP forecast
Britain’s economic growth forecasts for the fourth quarter of last year range from 0.5 percent to 0.8 percent growth, according to a Bloomberg survey. For the full year, GDP was estimated to have risen 2.6 percent, according to a separate poll. Britain’s Office for National Statistics is set to publish the estimate for the quarter, which is to be based on about 44 percent of the data that will become available, at 9:30am tomorrow.
IAG improves Aer Lingus bid
Officials say the parent company of British Airways has made a third, improved takeover approach to Irish airline Aer Lingus Group PLC and an announcement of the offer is expected today. The 2.5 euro per share offer by International Airlines Group (IAG) values the Dublin-based carrier at 1.3 billion euros (US$1.45 billion). Over the past month Aer Lingus has rejected two lower-priced proposals from IAG. IAG and Aer Lingus officials confirmed the value of Friday’s improved offer to reporters. The companies are expected to disclose details of the transaction today at announcements to stock exchanges in London and Dublin. Aer Lingus’ two biggest shareholders are Ryanair Holdings PLC and the Irish government.
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