IRS puts Equifax in review
The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) suspended a US$7.25 million contract with credit reporting company Equifax Inc on Friday, after members of the US Congress complained that the tax agency had awarded a no-bid contract to the company, which recently had a massive data beach. The IRS had contracted with Equifax to validate the identity of taxpayers communicating with the agency on the telephone or through its Web site. The IRS said it suspended the contract as “a precautionary step” while it reviews the firm’s security systems.
Facebook ventures into food
Facebook Inc wants to be a bigger player in the restaurant game. The social network has announced a new feature that will let users buy meals through third-party delivery services like DoorDash, or directly from a group of restaurants such as Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc and Five Guys. Facebook said it has no plans to hire drivers and deliver food, but hopes the new feature will keep users on its Web site longer.
Uber to stay in Quebec
Uber Technologies Inc is backing down on a threat to shutter its operations in Quebec this weekend. The San Francisco-based company on Friday announced that it would not pull the plug after all because it hopes to reach a deal with the province’s new transport minister in the coming months. The company on Friday also filed its appeal against a decision by Transport for London (TfL) not to renew its license. TfL last month said it would not renew Uber’s license to operate in the city owing to public safety concerns.
Kobes scandal widens
Japan’s Kobe Steel Ltd on Friday said that a snowballing falsified data scandal had affected around 500 customers, more than twice as many as initially thought. More than 30 foreign customers were affected, including Boeing Co, Airbus SE, General Motors Co, Tesla Inc, Daimler AG and PSA Group, according to Japan’s leading Nihon Keizai Shimbun business daily. However, Japan’s No. 3 steelmaker insisted that the affected products did not appear to pose a safety risk.
Credit gauge tops predictions
China’s broadest gauge of new credit exceeded projections, signaling that the funding taps remain open, even as the government pushes to curb excessive borrowing. Aggregate financing stood at 1.82 trillion yuan (US$276 billion) last month, the People’s Bank of China said yesterday, compared with 1.48 trillion yuan a month earlier. New yuan loans stood at 1.27 trillion yuan, while the broad M2 money supply increased 9.2 percent, picking up from the prior record low.
Exchange to request tax cut
Hong Kong’s exchange operator is considering asking the government to remove or reduce a trading tax on stock transactions, as part of a review of the levy, according to a person familiar with the bourse’s thinking. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥) made promoting the financial services sector part of her policy platform, a stance that encouraged Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd to discuss the tax, known as stamp duty, the person said.
Polytronics Technology Corp (聚鼎科技) yesterday announced that it is buying Henkel AG’s thermal clad dielectric material (TCLAD) business division for US$26 million as the Taiwanese firm aims to improve its technology, product portfolio and revenue performance. Polytronics, headquartered in the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), is a supplier of protection components and heat dissipation materials. The firm entered the metallic heat-dissipation substrate market in 2007 and developed a unique solventless production process. Its board of directors approved signing an agreement with Henkel to acquire the German chemical firm’s TCLAD division in the US. The purchase includes all assets and business interests, including equipment,
SIZE MATTERS: Medium-sized hotels that do not have the support of parent groups are more vulnerable and are forced to take action, a REPro Knight Frank researcher said About 50 hotels across Taiwan are seeking to exit the market as they succumb to the bleak business outlook amid international travel restrictions imposed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Yomi Hotel (優美飯店) on Minsheng E Road, Sec 1, in Taipei is seeking to transfer ownership with an asking price of NT$950 million (US$32.15 million) and a pledge for a lease contract that guarantees a 3 percent return. The budget hotel, with room rates that start from NT$1,400 per night, maintains normal operations, but has been struggling since March, when the government placed restrictions on inbound and outbound travel. Occupancy rates for hotels in
With the US dollar expected to weaken in the next 12 months due to near-zero interest rates, investors should consider purchasing US corporate bonds, Standard Chartered Bank Taiwan Ltd (渣打台灣銀行) said on Thursday. The bank said that the US Federal Reserve since last month has been buying bonds issued by US companies to curb default rates. The US dollar is forecast to be weaker against the pound, the euro and the yen, as well as the Canadian dollar, the Swedish krona and the Swiss franc, as the greenback lacks high investment returns after the Fed in March slashed the benchmark interest rate
A Bollywood actor’s face tattooed on his arm, Sandeep Bacche’s devotion shocks few in India where stars enjoy semi-divine status, but even there the hallowed silver screen might be losing its shine to streaming services and pandemic fears. “Whenever things get better and theaters begin operations, I will watch three movies a day for sure just as a way to celebrate,” said the Mumbai rickshaw driver, who is recovering from the virus himself. However, others might not join the party. With cinemas shut for months due to a COVID-19 lockdown, and little prospect they will reopen soon, frustrated Bollywood producers have turned to