Cheaper telecom urged
The government plans to step up the pressure for the country’s largest mobile-phone carriers to offer cheaper plans as surging profits show they have room to reduce costs for customers, an official at the Ministry of Communications said. Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Sanae Takaichi may make a new round of requests to carriers, according to the official. If successful, any cuts would build on previous recommendations by a panel the government formed to study lower fees, the official said.
Sell Pandora: stakeholder
An activist hedge fund on Monday revealed it owns nearly 10 percent of Pandora Media Inc and called for the sale of the Internet radio service. Corvex Management managing partner Keith Meister said in a letter to the Pandora board that his fund holds about 22.7 million shares, making it the Oakland-based company’s largest shareholder, with a stake of 9.9 percent. Pandora shares were up 3.51 percent to US$10.33 in after market trades on the New York Stock Exchange. Pandora explored a sale earlier this year, US media reports said.
Starbucks issues bonds
Starbucks Corp is turning to the bond market to fund its sustainable-coffee efforts. The Seattle-based chain has issued a first-of-its-kind US$500 million US corporate sustainability bond, according to a statement on Monday. The 10-year, 2.45 percent senior notes will fund programs that ensure coffee is grown and distributed in a way that can be maintained over the long run, such as providing fair pay for workers and protection for wildlife, according to Starbucks.
Investment firm mulled
The government is turning to Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte as a model to create a sovereign investment company to drive development in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy. The government is considering starting an investment holding company for four or five state-owned entities, which could then buy shares in the country’s companies, Minister of Finance Bambang Brodjonegoro said in an interview in Jakarta on Monday. If the fund is successful, it might over time invest in assets overseas, as Temasek did, he said.
Twitter expands limits
Twitter plans to let people fire off links or pictures without eating into the 140-character limit set for posts at the one-to-many messaging service, Bloomberg reported on Monday. The change could take place by the end of this month, according to a Blomberg report that cited someone familiar with the matter. Twitter declined to comment, but the move would come as it strives to ramp up the number of users along with how much people communicate at the service.
BSI SA probes employees
BSI SA, the Swiss bank embroiled in global probes into 1Malaysia Development Bhd, is investigating employees and their dealings related to the embattled Malaysian state investment fund, according to people familiar with the matter. One of the employees the private bank is investigating in Singapore is Kevin Swampillai, according to the people. Swampillai, the managing director of wealth management services, has been suspended pending investigation.
EQUITIES TAIEX closes above 11,000 Local shares yesterday moved higher, closing above 11,000 points on the back of an overnight rally in US markets, as investors embraced expectations that businesses would reopen and the development of a COVID-19 vaccine by US-based Novavax Inc. However, the upturn was limited, with some investors shifting into sell mode after Washington reacted to security laws proposed by China to tighten control over Hong Kong, dealers said. The TAIEX ended up 17.45 points, or 0.16 percent, at 11,014.66 on turnover of NT$156.24 billion (US$5.2 billion). Foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$332 million of shares on the
Latin America’s largest airline LATAM Airlines Group SA yesterday said that the company and its affiliates in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and the US have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US. LATAM is the latest corporate victim of the COVID-19 pandemic that has virtually halted air travel, joining Colombia’s Avianca Holdings SA and Australia’s Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd in bankruptcy protection as it seeks to restructure its debt. “We have implemented a series of difficult measures to mitigate the impact of this unprecedented industry disruption, but ultimately this path represents the best option,” LATAM chief executive officer Roberto Alvo
UNDERESTIMATED: The agency said that as its previous forecast was guided by the SARS crisis, it did not adequately account for disruptions caused by the pandemic The nation’s economy might grow just 1.67 percent this year squarely on the back of government expenditure and private investment, as exports and consumer spending have stalled, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday. The forecast is a sizeable retreat from an estimate of 2.37 percent growth made in February before the COVID-19 outbreaks became a pandemic. “The previous forecast was guided by the SARS crisis in 2003 and therefore underestimated the ongoing pandemic, which is hitting economic activity hard at home and abroad,” DGBAS Minister Chu Tzer-ming (朱澤民) told a media briefing in Taipei. The agency now expects exports
GRIM OUTLOOK: Consumer sentiment slid for a fourth straight month as the jobless rate spiked to a seven-year high and the number of people on unpaid leave climbed Consumer confidence this month tumbled to near an 11-year low, as people turned gloomy about household income after the unemployment rate exceeded 4 percent and could further deteriorate with the advent of the graduation season, a survey by National Central University showed yesterday. The consumer confidence index printed 64.87, falling for the fourth straight month to the weakest level since November 2009, dragged by bleak household income and employment expectations, the survey found. The sub-index on household income lost 10.5 points to 78.05, while the gauge on the job market outlook shed 10.3 points to 71.5, the worst since April 2010,