CETA opponents overruled
The nation’s highest court has rejected calls from opponents of a EU-Canada trade deal for an injunction that had the potential to spell an end to the pact. The Federal Constitutional Court yesterday ruled against the complaints against the trade deal with Canada, known as CETA. Tens of thousands of citizens joined in two of those complaints. Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, who is also minister of the economy, had warned putting off CETA’s signing could effectively torpedo the accord.
London home building slows
Sales of London homes under construction dropped 14 percent in the third quarter as uncertainty surrounding the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU hurt demand already dented by higher taxes. The number of residences sold before completion in the period fell to 4,830 units from 5,636 a year earlier, according to a report by researcher Molior London seen by Bloomberg News. A spokesman for Molior declined to comment.
Court to outline Hanjin sale
A South Korean court plans to publish a notice in local newspapers as early as today, detailing its plan to sell the marketing network of Hanjin Shipping Co’s Asia-US operations as part of efforts to raise funds for the indebted company. The Seoul Central District Court’s notice will provide information including the bidding schedule and deadline for submission, a court spokesman said yesterday. The court expects to sign an agreement on the sale by the middle of next month, he said.
B&D to buy Newell tools
Stanley Black & Decker (B&D) Inc on Wednesday agreed to buy Newell Brands Inc’s tools business for US$1.95 billion in cash, helping the workshop giant push deeper into consumer and industrial equipment. Stanley will gain the Irwin, Lenox and Hilmor brands as part of the transaction, which is expected to add US$0.15 to earnings within a year of its completion. The division generated US$760 million in revenue over the past 12 months, according to Newell. It makes everything from industrial saw blades to screwdrivers.
Uniqlo recovery predicted
Fast Retailing Co yesterday forecast full-year operating profit will improve 37 percent as the owner of the Uniqlo casual-wear chain recovers from a slump in the last fiscal year by committing to lower prices to win back customers. Operating income is likely to be ￥175 billion (US$1.7 billion) in the fiscal year ending August next year, compared with ￥127.3 billion in the previous period, the Yamaguchi, Japan-based company said in a statement. That is in line with the ￥174.9 billion average of 14 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Cathay shares dive
Shares in Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (國泰航空) yesterday plunged more than 5 percent after it scrapped its profit outlook for the second half of the year, citing competition and overcapacity. The Hong Kong-based firm said it no longer expected business to improve in the latter half of the year — a departure from its previous forecast. Net profit for the first six months of the year stood at HK$353 million (US$45.5 million). Shares in the company were trading as low as HK$10.16 per share, down 5.58 percent from Wednesday’s close.
Manufacturers are on a mission to produce desperately needed medical ventilators for the COVID-19 pandemic, even if it means converting assembly lines now making auto parts. Along with a shortage of masks and gloves, the spread of COVID-19 to almost every corner of the globe has highlighted a great need for specialized machines that help keep severely afflicted patients alive. “As the global pandemic evolves, there is unprecedented demand for medical equipment, including ventilators,” GE Healthcare chief executive officer Kieran Murphy said. The group has hired more workers and is making ventilators around the clock. Swedish group Getinge AB is also ramping up output
Facing the rapidly evolving global COVID-19 pandemic, Citibank Taiwan Ltd (台灣花旗) has proactively taken precautionary measures. “The health and safety of our colleagues and their families, as well as our clients and the communities we serve, are of the utmost importance. We continue to take proactive measures to preserve their well-being while we maintain our ability to serve our clients,” Citibank Taiwan chairman Paulus Mok (莫兆鴻) said in a statement yesterday. “We have local and regional contingency plans in place, and we have well-established business continuity plans for the firm. We are monitoring the situation closely, adjusting our operations accordingly,
UPGRADE AND TRANSFORM: Although the cross-strait trade deal might remain, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said businesses should prepare for any disruptions Taiwan might face a decline in foreign trade with China if the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) ends this year, Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said yesterday. The agreement, which was signed and put into effect in 2010 to reduce trade barriers across the Taiwan Strait, is expected to end this year, despite not having an exact termination date. “We have not received notification [from China] that it wishes to terminate ECFA,” Shen told reporters prior to attending a meeting at the Legislative Yuan. “Even if we are notified, the agreement would only cease after six months.” While acknowledging the
GoShare, an electric scooter sharing service provider with Gogoro Inc (睿能創意), plans to expand to Tainan next quarter in a strategic alliance with Aeon Motor Co (宏佳騰). The company currently offers its services in Taipei and Taoyuan. “Tainan is very popular among tourists. The city receives an average of 22.94 million tourists every year,” GoShare head Henry Chiang (姜家煒) told a news conference yesterday in Taipei, citing Tourism Bureau statistics. “Besides, the city has a long history of riding scooters,” he said. Each household owns an average of 2.5 scooters, he added. “Expanding presence” is one of four strategies GoShare is adopting for this