Berlin eyes spending boost
Germany plans to boost government spending by a total of more than 38 billion euros (US$40.56 billion) by 2021 without straying from its goal of keeping a balanced budget, according to a Federal Ministry of Finance draft document seen by reporters on Friday. Under the plan, spending is to rise to 355.6 billion euros in 2021 from last year’s 317.4 billion euros. However, with tax revenues expected to keep rising and borrowing costs to remain low, the document does not foresee the need for new net borrowing.
US government posts deficit
The US federal government ran another budget deficit last month, spared in part by slow tax refund processing. The US Department of the Treasury on Friday reported that the deficit came in at US$192 billion last month, little-changed from the US$192.6 billion deficit in the same period last year. This year’s budget hole would have been deeper, but the US Internal Revenue Service is required by a new law to delay refunds to those who file for the earned income tax credit while it looks for fraud. For the first five months of this fiscal year, the deficit totaled US$349 billion, a fall from last year’s US$351.3 billion during the same period.
UK’s industrial output falls
Britain’s industrial output recoiled in January as the nation prepares to exit the EU, official data showed on Friday. Industrial output slid 0.4 percent compared with activity in December last year, with a particularly weak contribution from manufacturing, the British Office for National Statistics said in a statement. Manufacturing output, which excludes mining and quarrying, electricity, gas and water supply, slid 0.9 percent from January to December, while construction activity also shrank by 0.4 percent month-on-month, the office said.
Panel backs Venezuela
A World Bank panel has overturned part of a ruling ordering Venezuela to pay US$1.4 billion to Exxon Mobil in compensation for nationalizing a company project 10 years ago. The Washington-based International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes agreed with Venezuela’s argument appealing the case and overturned part of the decision it had taken in 2014. Exxon had originally sought US$12 billion in compensation over the loss of what it said it had already invested and what it expected to reap from the Cerro Negro project.
Vietnam firm plans IPO
Vietnam National Coffee Corp, the nation’s largest state-owned robusta producer, is planning an initial public offering (IPO) next year as the government reduces its stake in the company. The IPO is to include Vinacafe and 18 units, company deputy director-general Nguyen Van Minh said. The valuation process is expected to start in July, Minh said. Vietnam is the world’s largest producer of the robusta beans used in instant coffee. The country’s annual coffee exports are estimated to be between US$2.5 billion and US$3 billion, said Do Ha Nam, vice head of the Vietnam Coffee Cocoa Association and chairman of Intimex Group, the country’s top exporter.
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