Record online holiday sales
Nearly 136 million shoppers are expected to flock to US sales over the four-day Black Friday holiday weekend, both in stores and online, the National Retail Federation said. “Reports of long lines outside stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday were matched by reports of record-breaking online sales,” federation president and chief executive Matthew Shay said on Friday. The federation estimates that 135.8 million people would be shopping over the weekend, a 1.6 percent increase from last year.
Banker avoids Swiss prison
Herve Falciani, a former bank employee who took client data from HSBC Holdings PLC’s Geneva unit, was found guilty of corporate espionage and given a five-year prison sentence by a Swiss court in absentia, making it unlikely he will ever spend time inside a prison in the country. The Frenchman stayed out of Switzerland during the trial to avoid the risk of arrest, preferring to stay in France, a country which does not extradite its citizens. The decision was read out on Friday at the Federal Criminal Court by Judge David Glassey, who criticized the lengths that Falciani went to in his attempts to profit from the data.
Dutch to sell ASR in IPO
The Dutch government is planning to sell off state-owned insurance company ASR, Minister of Finance Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on Friday. One of the largest insurers in the Netherlands, the company was created out of the break-up of the Belgian-Dutch Fortis group in the 2008 economic crisis and acquired for 3.65 billion euros (US$3.87 billion) by the Dutch state. The government is eyeing an initial public offering for ASR on the Amsterdam stock exchange, Dijsselbloem said.
German confidence slumps
A closely watched survey shows German consumers are losing confidence amid growing concerns of an economic slump. The GfK research group said on Friday its forward-looking consumer climate index dropped for the fourth month in a row to 9.3 points for next month, from 9.4 this month. GfK says consumers’ willingness to buy rose, but that was offset by drops in both their income and economic expectations.
UK’s growth slowed in Q3
The UK’s economic growth slowed in the third quarter, official data confirmed on Friday. GDP expanded by 0.5 percent between July and September, the Office for National Statistics said in a second estimate, in line with market expectations. That was unchanged from the initial estimate and followed second-quarter growth of 0.7 percent.
Greek economy shrank more
The Greek state statistics agency on Friday drastically revised downwards the economy’s third-quarter contraction to 0.9 percent, from 0.5 percent previously. “These differences are on account of using new data, not available at the time of the flash estimate,” the ELSTAT agency said, citing a mixture of September balance of payments data, service turnover and jobless figures as factors for the downturn. Greek output fell by 1.1 percent from the third quarter of last year, Elstat said.
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