SMEs expanding abroad
Small and medium-sized enterprises are boosting borrowing to expand abroad as opportunities at home dry up, according to the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). The number of loans and investments by JBIC for small and medium-sized companies for operations abroad jumped to 82 in the nine months through December last year, with a total value of ￥105 billion (US$880 million), according to the Tokyo-based institution. That compares with 54 worth ￥18 billion in the fiscal year through March last year. Data for the last three months is not yet available.
UBS executive pleads guilty
Former UBS AG executive Hansruedi Schumacher pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the US as part of the government’s prosecution of financial industry officials who help Americans dodge taxes. Schumacher, 56, entered his plea on Thursday in federal court in West Palm Beach, Florida. Schumacher, who also worked at Neue Zuercher Bank and once ran the cross-border business for UBS, was indicted in August 2009 on a charge of helping US citizens evade taxes on UBS and NZB accounts.
Marine terminal canceled
Pipeline builder TransCanada on Thursday announced it would not build a marine terminal at Cacouna, Quebec, saying increased tanker traffic in the region would have harmed a pod of beluga whales. The terminal, 200km northeast of Quebec City, was to be the end point of the Energy East pipeline, which was originally due to move 1.1 million barrels of oil per day starting in 2018 from the Alberta oil sands and Saskatchewan shale oil fields in western Canada for shipping overseas. The arctic white whale, with its distinctive spherical forehead and smiling mouth, is present in and around Cacouna.
Self-driving cars planned
Nissan Motor Co chief executive Carlos Ghosn wants to put self-driving cars on Japan’s roads next year and says they would be able to navigate busy urban environments on their own by 2020. “There will be a Nissan product in Japan, which will carry autonomous drive,” he told reporters on Thursday at the New York International Auto Show. A five-year tieup with NASA on the technology would see the initial rollout by December next year. In 2018, models should have the ability to avoid hazards and to change lanes, and by 2020 vehicles should be able to autonomously maneuver through crowded city roads.
Pfizer halts PRC vaccines
Pfizer Inc is ceasing its vaccine commercial operations in China after the government failed to renew its license for a key shot for children, the latest sign of the uncertainties facing international drugmakers in the nation. The Chinese import license for the Prevenar-brand vaccine expired last year, the US pharmaceutical company said on Thursday. It expects a shortage of the product in China before the launch of a newer version, called Prevenar 13, that it already sells in other parts of the world. At least 34 applications from foreign multinationals have been or are set to be delayed after Chinese regulators began requiring an added procedure, according to an industry group.
SIZE MATTERS: Medium-sized hotels that do not have the support of parent groups are more vulnerable and are forced to take action, a REPro Knight Frank researcher said About 50 hotels across Taiwan are seeking to exit the market as they succumb to the bleak business outlook amid international travel restrictions imposed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Yomi Hotel (優美飯店) on Minsheng E Road, Sec 1, in Taipei is seeking to transfer ownership with an asking price of NT$950 million (US$32.15 million) and a pledge for a lease contract that guarantees a 3 percent return. The budget hotel, with room rates that start from NT$1,400 per night, maintains normal operations, but has been struggling since March, when the government placed restrictions on inbound and outbound travel. Occupancy rates for hotels in
With the US dollar expected to weaken in the next 12 months due to near-zero interest rates, investors should consider purchasing US corporate bonds, Standard Chartered Bank Taiwan Ltd (渣打台灣銀行) said on Thursday. The bank said that the US Federal Reserve since last month has been buying bonds issued by US companies to curb default rates. The US dollar is forecast to be weaker against the pound, the euro and the yen, as well as the Canadian dollar, the Swedish krona and the Swiss franc, as the greenback lacks high investment returns after the Fed in March slashed the benchmark interest rate
A Bollywood actor’s face tattooed on his arm, Sandeep Bacche’s devotion shocks few in India where stars enjoy semi-divine status, but even there the hallowed silver screen might be losing its shine to streaming services and pandemic fears. “Whenever things get better and theaters begin operations, I will watch three movies a day for sure just as a way to celebrate,” said the Mumbai rickshaw driver, who is recovering from the virus himself. However, others might not join the party. With cinemas shut for months due to a COVID-19 lockdown, and little prospect they will reopen soon, frustrated Bollywood producers have turned to
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, is to issue NT$13.9 billion (US$469.5 million) in unsecured bonds to help fund its plan to expand production capacity, it said on Friday. In a Taiwan Stock Exchange filing, TSMC said the bonds would comprise three tranches: NT$5.7 billion payable over five years, NT$6.3 billion over seven years and NT$1.9 billion over 10 years. The interest rates would be 0.58 percent on the five-year bonds, 0.65 percent on the seven-year ones and 0.67 percent on the 10-year tranche, TSMC said. Capital Securities Corp (群益金鼎證券) is to serve as the main underwriter in