Saudi firms sign agreements
Local firms and their Saudi Arabian counterparts yesterday signed preliminary agreements for seven deals worth more than US$2 billion. The deals, valued at 9.74 billion ringgit (US$2.19 billion), are to cover joint ventures and cooperation in several sectors, including oil and gas, Muslim finance, Shariah-compliant products, the halal industry and manufacturing, Minister of International Trade and Industry Mustapa Mohamed said at a news conference. State oil company Saudi Arabian Oil Co was yesterday also expected to sign a deal with Petroliam Nasional Bhd to invest US$7 billion in an oil refinery and petrochemical project in southern Johor.
US$26 trillion needed: ADB
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said developing countries in Asia and the Pacific will need to invest up to US$1.7 trillion per year, or US$26 trillion through 2030, to meet their infrastructure needs and maintain the region’s growth momentum — more than double the previous estimate in 2009. A substantial infrastructure gap remains, as more than 400 million people still lack electricity, 300 million have no access to safe drinking water and about 1.5 billion lack basic sanitation, the ADB said in a report released yesterday.
Pemex halves annual losses
Mexico’s state-run energy giant Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) on Monday reported losses of US$14.3 billion for last year, halving its losses in 2015, and said austerity measures were starting to pay off. Pemex, which has not posted a profit since 2012, has struggled through a period of low oil prices and sweeping energy reforms launched by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. Pemex said it last year slashed operation costs by 26 percent and maintained production at 2.15 million barrels per day. Seeking to stave off a financial catastrophe, Pemex shelved US$3.6 billion in investments early last year and implemented US$5.5 billion in budget cuts.
Illicit forex operation busted
The government said it has broken up an underground banking operation that conducted US$7.3 billion in illegal foreign currency transfers, trumpeting the bust as a sign of its resolve to stem massive capital flight. The State Administration of Foreign Exchange late on Monday said in a statement that it had investigated six companies suspected of illegal forex transfers in Shenzhen. An unspecified number of other firms were found to have used false documentation, fabricated trades and other methods to funnel money out of the country, the regulator said. The country’s vast foreign exchange reserves last year fell to less than US$3 trillion for the first time in six years, as authorities spent heavily to prop up the yuan and reduce on outflows.
Unlimited data on horizon
Netflix Inc chairman and CEO Reed Hastings on Monday said that telecoms would offer data plans that give users unlimited video streaming to meet the rising popularity of watching TV and movies on mobile devices. The trend would take place in the next 10 to 20 years, Hastings said at the GSMA Mobile World Congress, the industry’s largest annual trade fair. He said he believed telecoms would eventually create a two-tier system, where video data is unlimited to meet the growing demand for watching TV series and movies on mobile devices.
PLANNED OUT: The government is lifting sale and export restrictions on 60% of the 20 million masks made daily, but people can still make purchases using their NHI cards Twenty thousand boxes of 50 masks each would be on sale at FamilyMart convenience stores starting tomorrow, Taiwan FamilyMart Co Ltd (全家便利商店) said yesterday. A box of 50 masks would cost NT$249 for those with FamilyMart memberships and NT$299 for those without, with no limits placed on how many boxes a person can buy, the company said. Convenience store chain operator Hi-Life International Co Ltd (萊爾富) said that it would also start selling masks from tomorrow. It has yet to announce details about prices and quantity. Hypermarket chain operator Carrefour Taiwan (家樂福) said that it would start selling packs of five
BOOSTING BUYING: A source said that the idea of pre-ordering vouchers online is being considered, but the preliminary plan is for people to buy them at post offices A stimulus voucher program to be rolled out next month to boost consumption would be available not only to Taiwanese, but also foreign nationals and Chinese spouses who hold residency permits, a source familiar with the matter said yesterday. The government is fine-tuning the details of the program, which involves issuing vouchers for in-store purchases to revive buying amid the COVID-19 pandemic. During a radio interview on Monday last week, National Development Council (NDC) Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said that the plan is to allow anyone, regardless of age or income level, to buy NT$3,000 (US$99.89) worth of vouchers for
Delta Electronics Inc (台達電), the nation’s leading power management solutions provider, has signed an agreement to acquire Canadian software firm Trihedral Engineering Ltd to bolster its smart production efforts, it said on Saturday. Delta said in a statement that it would acquire Trihedral for C$45 million (US$32.68 million) through its 100 percent-owned subsidiary Delta Electronics (Netherlands) BV. Trihedral specializes in supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and industrial Internet of Things software, which would strengthen Delta’s hardware offerings in fast-growing areas such as automation, artificial intelligence and data analytics, it said. “The collection, monitoring and analyzing of data are critical to Delta’s two
‘ONE-STOP SHOP’: A Miaoli official said that the factory in the Jhunan section of the Hsinchu Science Park would create more than 1,000 jobs and boost prosperity A new high-end IC packaging and testing plant planned by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) in Miaoli County is expected to start operations in the middle of next year, Miaoli County Commissioner Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) said. Hsu wrote on Facebook that TSMC, the world’s largest pure wafer foundry operator, would invest NT$303.2 billion (US$10.1 billion) to build the plant, the largest-ever single investment in Taiwan. However, TSMC declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal, while a company board meeting on May 12 approved a spending plan worth NT$168.2 billion as part of its investment plans. Construction of the