Foreign investors gather
Nearly 140 chief executives from companies around the world are to gather at the Versailles Palace outside Paris tomorrow, as the French government steps up efforts to attract more foreign investors. French President Emmanuel Macron orchestrated what is being billed as an “attractiveness summit” as executives converge for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, next week. A handful of economic accords are to be announced, including a major investment in “traditional industry” and two in “high-tech and artificial intelligence,” an official in the president’s office said.
Fitch upgrades debt rating
Fitch Ratings on Friday upgraded Spain’s sovereign debt rating, pointing to the country’s growing economy and improving fiscal health. The economic impact of the Catalonia region’s effort to declare independence last month have been “limited” so far, but the political standoff will weigh on growth, the agency said. Fitch raised Spain’s long-term debt rating one notch to “A-” with a stable outlook. Fitch said that Spain was enjoying the fruits of an economic recovery, with the economy likely having expanded by an average of 3.3 percent between 2015 and last year. The central government deficit is likely to hit its 3.1 percent target this year.
CEO takes home huge bonus
Morgan Stanley boosted chief executive officer James Gorman’s compensation for last year by 20 percent to US$27 million, the most pay he has received since taking the helm eight years ago. Gorman, 59, got a US$12.8 million long-term incentive, US$6 million of deferred cash, US$5.6 million cash bonus, US$1.5 million salary and restricted shares worth almost US$1.2 million, bank spokesman Wesley McDade said. Last year, Morgan Stanley had record revenue from wealth management and stabilized its fixed-income division after restructuring. This week, its market value eclipsed that of rival Goldman Sachs Group Inc for the first time in a decade.
Start-up hunts funding
Byton (拜騰), a Chinese electric car start-up founded by former BMW AG executives, is seeking about US$400 million in a new round of funding, people with knowledge of the matter said. The Nanjing-based company, which showcased a concept car at the CES in Las Vegas this month, has been reaching out to potential investors to gauge their interest, according to the sources. Byton received US$200 million from a Suning Holdings Group Co (蘇寧集團) fund and some state-owned firms in Jiangsu Province, chief operating officer Daniel Kirchert said in August last year.
Missouri offer revealed
The US state of Missouri offered Amazon.com Inc nearly US$2.5 billion in incentives spread over 10 years in its failed bid to lure the company’s second headquarters to the state, according to figures released on Friday by the state Department of Economic Development. The state proposed building an “innovation corridor” between Kansas City and St Louis to provide employees and sites for Amazon. Amazon has said its second headquarters would bring up to 50,000 jobs and an investment of more than US$5 billion.
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