S&P cuts the EU’s rating
Ratings agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) on Thursday cut the credit rating for the EU by one notch, saying that the bloc had grown more uncertain after Brexit. S&P cut the EU’s rating to “AA,” still the third-highest possible level, from “AA+” with a “stable” outlook, which signifies that the agency believes no further cut would be necessary in the medium term. On Monday, both S&P and Fitch downgraded Britain’s rating citing the referendum that decided an exit from the EU. S&P cut the country’s rating from the top “AAA” to “AA,” while Fitch lowered its rating from “AA+” to “AA.”
Key interest rate raised
The Banco de Mexico on Thursday raised its key interest rate by half a point to contain inflation and shore up the peso after its battering following Britain’s decision to leave the EU. Facing the prospect of “sluggish” global growth in the second half of this year, the central bank decided to “increase the interbank base rate by 50 points to a level of 4.25 percent,” it said in a statement. Mexico’s GDP saw growth of 2.5 percent last year. This year, the bank predicts the economy should expand between 2.5 percent and 3.5 percent.
New home prices slow
The cost of new homes rose at a slower rate last month from the previous month, figures showed yesterday, as measures to tame prices in economy took hold. The average price for new houses in 100 major cities increased 1.32 percent month-on-month to 11,816 yuan (US$1,776) per square meter, the China Index Academy said in a statement, down from April’s 1.7 percent. Year-on-year, new home prices were up 11.18 percent last month, compared with 10.34 percent in May, the academy said.
Newmont sells PTNNT stake
Newmont Mining Corp, the largest US bullion producer, agreed to sell its Indonesian copper and gold assets for US$1.3 billion as the country pushes miners to build smelters rather than exporting raw materials. PT Amman Mineral Internasional, a closely held Indonesian company backed by three local banks, will buy Newmont’s 48.5 percent interest in PTNNT, which operates the Batu Hijau mine, the Colorado-based company said in a statement on Thursday. Sumitomo Corp also agreed to sell its stake in an asset that Newmont says has a gross valuation of more than US$2.5 billion.
Google to offer ‘Nougat’
Google is serving a new morsel for fans of its Android software: The next version has been dubbed “Nougat,” extending the tradition of nicknaming each overhaul of Android after a sweet food. The Nougat name announced on Thursday comes seven weeks after Google sought suggestions during its annual conference for software engineers. Nougat is scheduled to be released in new smartphones this fall, when the makers of existing Android devices will also be able to enable updates to the new software. Nougat’s new features will include the ability to run apps without actually installing them on a device.
Russian PMI rises
The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for Russian manufacturers last month jumped to the highest level since November 2014, topping economist forecasts as domestic demand powered gains in orders and output. The PMI surged to 51.5 from 49.6 in May, Markit Economics said yesterday.
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