Seoul mulls VW recall
South Korea yesterday said that Volkswagen’s local unit informed the government it could recall about 120,000 vehicles in the country. The government is to decide by next month if it is to order a recall and/or a suspension of sales, the South Korean Ministry of Environment said. After testing the emissions of seven Volkswagen and Audi diesel models by the middle of next month, the ministry is to expand testing to other makers’ diesel models starting in December.
Shell halts leaky pipeline
Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell says it has halted crude exports from a key terminal in southern Nigeria because of a leak in the Trans Forcados Pipeline. The suspension affected crude exports from one of Nigeria’s main export points, the Forcados Terminal, which has a capacity of 400,000 barrels a day, Shell said in a statement released on Wednesday.
Recession set to deepen
The World Bank on Wednesday downgraded its outlook for the nation’s economy, warning that a biting recession is deepening and is likely to persist into next year. The World Bank predicted the economy could shrink by 3.8 percent this year in its baseline scenario, far worse than its earlier forecast of a 2.7 percent contraction. The downturn this year could be as much as 4.3 percent, it said.
GDP worst in Latin America
The government has revised its economic data for last year, showing that GDP declined 4 percent in the worst performance around Latin America. Inflation was 68.5 percent. President Nicolas Maduro had said earlier this year that GDP shrank 3 percent last year. The government has given no GDP data for this year, to the anger of opponents and consternation of economists.
EU recession could return
Eurozone inflation unexpectedly fell to negative 0.1 percent last month, data showed on Wednesday, suggesting a dangerous spell of falling prices could be returning to Europe. The return to negative territory will add to pressure on the European Central Bank to increase its huge stimulus program which is meant to ward off deflation and keep the economy on track. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected a zero rate after a gain of 0.1 percent in August.
ANZ bank CEO steps down
ANZ chief executive Mike Smith, who oversaw a big push into Asia, yesterday said he was stepping down after eight years in the top job. England-born Smith is to be replaced by chief financial officer Shayne Elliott on Jan. 1, but will serve as a non-executive adviser to the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group’s board for at least a year due to his “invaluable understanding of and connections in Asia,” the bank said.
Twitter board appoints CEO
Twitter Inc’s board has selected Jack Dorsey as chief executive officer, making his position permanent after the cofounder stepped in three months ago on an interim basis, Re/code reported on Wednesday. Dorsey, who had been considered a lead internal candidate, is also continue to be chief execuitve officer at mobile-payments company Square Inc, the technology news Web site reported, without citing sources.
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