Japan backs hydrogen cars
Japan is backing a push for pollution-free vehicles that run on hydrogen and plans to build more hydrogen fueling stations so that fuel-cell vehicles on roads will grow from the current handful to 40,000 by 2020. The collaboration on fuel cells, announced yesterday, brings together 11 companies, including automakers Toyota Motor Corp, Nissan Motor Co and Honda Motor Co; energy and gas companies; and a bank. Fuel-cell vehicles run on power produced when hydrogen combines with oxygen in the air to create water. Only a handful of such vehicles are on roads, partly because of the scarcity of hydrogen stations. For example, Honda has delivered only 245 of its latest Clarity fuel-cell vehicles in Japan and the US.
Central bank increases rate
The central bank has raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter-point to 6.75 percent as inflation continues to outpace targets. The Bank of Mexico said the move seeks to calm the rise in consumer prices, as well as expectations for increases, gradually bringing inflation back to the target of 3 percent. The central bank on Thursday said in a statement that inflation hit 5.82 percent last month. The bank foresees inflation remaining high in the near-term, but heading toward 3 percent late this year and next year. The bank said that investment has lagged due to uncertainty in the country’s relationship with the US.
Altice breached rules: EU
The EU on Thursday said Altice NV breached EU rules by prematurely taking over PT Portugal Telecom SGPS SA without full clearance from regulators. The European Commission can fine the company up to 10 percent of its annual worldwide turnover. Netherlands-listed Altice, which is owned by French-Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi, said it “does not agree with the European Commission’s preliminary conclusions and will submit a full response ... and contest all the objections.” Thursday’s announcement would not affect regulatory approval granted for the 7.4 billion euros transaction in April 2015, the commission said.
SBI more than doubles profit
State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest lender by assets, more than doubled its fourth-quarter profit as its bad loan ratio narrowed. Net income climbed to 28.1 billion rupees (US$432.7 million), or 3.55 rupees per share, in the three months ended March 31, compared with 12.6 billion rupees, or 1.64 rupees per share, a year earlier, the Mumbai-based lender said yesterday. Profit beat the 27.9 billion rupee average of 21 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Lawmakers recently approved a proposal giving the Reserve Bank of India more powers to resolve the nation’s US$180 billion pile of stressed loans.
Gap profit tops expectations
Gap Inc on Thursday reported a quarterly profit that topped Wall Street expectations. The San Francisco-based company said that from February to last month net income totaled US$143 million, or US$0.36 per share, up from US$127 million, or US$0.32 per share, in the same period a year earlier. Wall Street had predicted earnings of US$0.29 per share. Overall revenue was unchanged at US$3.44 billion, beating Wall Street’s estimate of US$3.41 billion. “The retail environment continues to be challenging,” CEO Art Peck said in a statement, but added that Gap is improving its “product quality and fit,” and getting better at reacting to changes in fashion trends.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion