GE sells ‘Down Under’ unit
General Electric Co’s (GE) latest sale of a financial services unit gives investors fresh evidence of how it is following through on plans to shrink its credit arm. “It shows that they are committed in how they are investing and deploying capital,” Peter Sorrentino, a portfolio manager for Cincinnati-based Huntington Asset Advisors Inc that owns GE shares, said of the deal. “It’s good for the stock.” GE announced on Sunday that it would sell GE Capital’s Australia and New Zealand consumer lending operation to an investor group composed of Varde Partners, KKR & Co and Deutsche Bank AG in a deal with an enterprise value of A$8.2 billion (US$6.3 billion). The division provides credit cards and personal loans. CEO Jeffrey Immelt has been reducing the firm’s dependence on GE Capital since and the company’s goal is to have at least three-quarters of earnings coming from the industrial area and the rest from GE Capital.
Bank governor faces firing
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades made preparations on Sunday to sack central bank Governor Chrystalla Georghadji, accused by parliament of a conflict of interest, a government spokesman said. Relations between Georghadji and the government and parliament have been strained since it was revealed that her estranged husband worked as a lawyer for a Greek businessman who had been in a legal battle with Cypriot authorities over the collapse of a local bank in 2013. Georghadji, appointed in April last year for a five-year term, is a member of the European Central Bank Governing Council. Cypriot authorities maintain they were not aware when Georghadji was appointed that her estranged husband was the lawyer for the Greek businessman at the center of investigations over the collapse of Laiki Bank in March 2013. The bank’s collapse was one of the reasons for Cyprus seeking a bailout from the EU and the IMF that year.
Taulia to list next year
Taulia Inc, a supplier of payments software, is planning to go public as early as next year and expects a valuation of at least US$1 billion, chief product officer Markus Ament said. Taulia, whose products are designed to help suppliers get paid faster, would float 10 to 15 percent of its value, Ament said in an interview on Saturday at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas. The San Francisco-based company has been talking to investment banks and has not selected underwriters yet, he said. Seventy-five large companies, including Coca-Cola Bottling Co and EBay Inc, as well as their 460,000 suppliers, use products from Taulia. Its software lets suppliers receive money more quickly by offering discounts for early payment.
India WPI falls sharply
India’s wholesale inflation fell a sharper-than-expected 2.06 percent last month, the fourth straight drop, as global oil prices sit at multi-year lows, data showed yesterday. The fall in the wholesale price index (WPI), the inflation measure with the biggest basket of goods, was greater than a 0.8 percent drop predicted by a Bloomberg survey and should fuel talk of another interest rate cut. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s right-wing government had earlier revised the November fall in WPI inflation to 0.17 percent. The latest figures show food and fuel prices dropped last month, good news for millions of Indians living in chronic poverty who are badly affected by any sharp changes in both categories.
DEVELOPING TALENT: The electronics contractor is looking to recruit people to work in core tech fields and emerging industries like electric cars and robotics Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s largest contract electronics maker, has launched a recruitment drive, offering a monthly salary of no less than NT$45,000 (US$1,485) to university graduates. For those with a master’s degree, the starting pay would be NT$52,000 per month at the minimum, while doctorate degree holders would receive at least NT$60,000 a month, Hon Hai said a statement issued early this week. The latest recruitment drive is aimed at attracting talent in core technology fields — artificial intelligence, semiconductors and next-generation mobile communications — and emerging industries — electric vehicles, digital healthcare and robotics, the
MRT TRAVEL FALLS: In February, ridership on the Taipei MRT System fell 8.96 percent from an average of 2.01 million per day in January Scooter sales jumped 13 percent last month as more commuters turned to two-wheelers to avoid public transportation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest statistics showed. Sales expanded to 74,493 units last month, compared with 65,913 units in February, statistics released on Wednesday by Kwang Yang Motor Co (光陽工業) and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications showed. In the first quarter, aggregate sales slid 0.51 percent year-over-year to 186,627 units, from 187,580 units, data showed. Kwang Yang, the nation’s biggest scooter manufacturer, continued to lead the market by selling 24,136 vehicles last month, growing 6.12 percent from 20,785 units in the previous month, while
Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), the nation’s leading PC vendor, yesterday launched its first dual-screen gaming laptop powered by Intel Corp’s latest central processing units (CPUs). The PC manufacturer’s announcement closely followed the US chipmaker’s unveiling of its 10th Generation Core H-series, the fastest commercial mobile processors with speeds of up to 5 gigahertz. Although Asustek’s Zephyrus Duo 15, the highlight of its Republic of Gamers line, is not the company’s first laptop with two screens, it is its first designed specifically for gaming. Nestled between the primary display panel and the keyboard, the secondary display, which Asustek calls the ScreenPad Plus, is angled
NO ILL EFFECT: Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the spread of COVID-19 was still relatively mild in Taiwan, housing brokers said Housing transactions in the six special municipalities totaled 19,824 units last month, up 7.8 percent from a year earlier, brokers said, citing government data. Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the pinch of the COVID-19 pandemic was not yet evident, they said. Taoyuan posted the largest improvement, with housing transactions soaring 36.6 percent year-on-year to 3,676 units, local government data showed. Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋) attributed the pickup to the completion of two presale residential projects in the municipality. Houses in Taoyuan have increasingly gained in popularity in the past few year years due to relatively affordable home prices and