US light-vehicle sales rise
US car and truck sales picked up strength last month, automakers reported on Friday. Total light vehicle sales rose 4.6 percent last month year-on-year to 1.45 million units, according to figures compiled by Autodata. Sales of light trucks and sports utility vehicles increased 10.5 percent, but passenger cars fell 1.5 percent from the same period a year ago.
BNP fined over US sanctions
A US judge on Friday ordered BNP Paribas to pay a record US$8.9 billion fine to settle violations of US sanctions linked to Iran, Sudan and Cuba between 2004 and 2012. Judge Lorna Schofield finalized a sentence that also included a five-year probation and the imposition of a monitor at France’s largest bank.
Uber office in China raided
An Uber Technologies Inc office in southern China was raided on Thursday as part of a broader crackdown on illegal taxi services using private drivers, state media said. The US taxi-hailing application is suspected of operating without a license and illegal business activities, Xinhua news agency reported, citing an unidentified traffic official in Guangzhou. Uber on Friday said it is cooperating with local officials, though stopped short of confirming the reported raid.
Berkshire profits surge 10%
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc on Friday said its first-quarter profit jumped 10 percent on the strength of its railroad and insurance businesses. Berkshire earned US$5.16 billion, or US$3,143 per Class A share, during the first three months of this year. That is up from US$4.71 billion, or US$2,862 per Class A share in the same period last year. Most major Berkshire subsidiaries performed well. Revenue grew 7 percent to US$48.6 billion. Berkshire said its operating earnings were US$4.24 billion, or US$2,583 per share. That is up from US$3.53 billion, or US$2,149 per share, in the first quarter of last year.
Air bag death dad files in US
The father of a pregnant woman killed by shrapnel from an air bag that deployed during an auto accident in Malaysia sued Takata Corp and Honda Motor Co in the US. Law Suk Leh, 42, died when a metal fragment sliced into her neck in July last year following a low-speed crash, according to the lawsuit filed on Thursday in Miami federal court. Her daughter, delivered after the mother’s death, died three days later. Ten automakers, including Honda and Toyota Motor Corp, have since 2008 recalled about 17 million vehicles with Takata air bags.
Prudential names new CEO
British insurance giant Prudential PLC on Friday named Mike Wells as its new chief executive officer. Wells has been head of London-based Prudential’s US unit, Jackson National Life, for the past five years. He will take up the reins on June 1, Prudential announced in a brief statement. Wells, who is a US citizen but was born in Canada, has worked in life insurance, retirement services and asset management for almost 30 years.
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
ROW: A probe would determine if the rights of shareholders who were not allowed to vote yesterday had been violated, while the stock exchange also wants answers The election of board directors yesterday at Tatung Co (大同) sparked controversy after the company blocked some institutional and individual shareholders from participating in the general shareholders’ meeting, prompting the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) to announce that the vote would be investigated. Lin Kuo Wen-yen (林郭文艷) was re-elected as chairwoman of the household-appliance maker’s nine-member board, but prior to the vote she announced that several shareholders would not have voting rights. They were being denied a vote because they had contravened the Business Mergers and Acquisitions Act (企業併購法), and the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and