Inflation rises to 2.5%
The annual inflation rate rose to 2.5 percent last month, its highest level in more than six years, on the back of higher fuel and food prices, the government said on Friday. Inflation rose 2.2 percent in May and last month’s figure was higher than analysts had expected. It was the highest rate since early 2012. Last week, the Bank of Canada raised the country’s benchmark interest rate to 1.5 percent in a bid to tame rising prices. The central bank forecast that inflation would settle back to 2 percent “by the second half of 2019.”
Tata Motors eyes divestment
Tata Motors Ltd, the owner of Jaguar Land Rover, has restarted talks on the sale of a stake in its engineering unit just months after a deal with Warburg Pincus was called off, people with knowledge of the matter said. The carmaker has started preliminary discussions with a private equity firm that expressed interest in buying a stake in Singapore-headquartered Tata Technologies Ltd, the people said. Tata Motors plans to use proceeds from the sale on capital expenditure for its domestic automotive business, one of the people said. Tata Motors is planning further divestments after selling a stake in Tata Technologies, one of the people said.
OIL AND GAS
Shell looking to sell licenses
Royal Dutch Shell PLC is in talks to sell two Nigerian oil licenses in an area that is at the heart of environmental and human rights controversies for US$2 billion, people familiar with the plan said. The Anglo-Dutch oil major is discussing selling oil mining licenses 11 and 17 to Heirs Holdings Ltd, a company run by Nigerian tycoon Tony Elumelu, the people said. Included in the sale are infrastructure assets, such as a natural gas-fired power plant that would be managed by Transnational Corporation of Nigeria PLC, another company run by Elumelu, they said.
Bayer pulls birth control coil
Life sciences company Bayer AG on Friday said it would discontinue the sale of its birth control product Essure in the US, citing a decline in sales of the implantable device that made the business no longer sustainable. Bayer said the decision was not related to safety concerns. The company, based in Leverkusen, Germany, is facing about 16,000 US lawsuits over Essure and it said it was expecting more. The firm said it has informed the US Food and Drug Administration of its decision and would update healthcare providers.
Iran, ASEAN to sign treaty
Iran is to sign a cooperation treaty with ASEAN at an upcoming meeting that is also to be attended by US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and North Korean officials, a Singaporean diplomat said. Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif would sign the document at a gathering of ASEAN foreign ministers starting on July 30 in Singapore, Singaporean non-resident ambassador to Iran Ong Keng Yong (王景榮) said in an interview. “The ASEAN countries welcome anyone who wants to sign onto the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation,” said Ong, a former ASEAN secretary-general.
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
‘SENSITIVE MARKETS’: The previously unannounced project would involve the company handing over control of data to a third party to sidestep privacy concerns Google has abandoned plans to offer a major new cloud service in China and other politically sensitive countries due in part to concerns over geopolitical tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic, two employees familiar with the matter said, revealing the challenges for US tech giants to secure business in those markets. In May, the search giant shut down the initiative, known as “Isolated Region” and which sought to address nations’ desires to control data within their borders, the employees said. The action was considered a “massive strategy shift,” said one of the employees, who added that Isolated Region had involved hundreds of employees