Date set for US goods tariffs
The government yesterday said that delayed higher tariffs against some goods imported from the US would go into force on Sept. 18. New Delhi, incensed by Washington’s refusal to exempt it from new tariffs, in June decided to raise from Aug. 4 the import tax on some US products, including almonds, walnuts and apples, and later delayed the move. Officials from New Delhi and Washington, including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Secretary of Defense James Mattis, are scheduled to hold a series of meetings, including strategic talks, with their Indian counterparts next month.
Trade deficit falls to C$626m
The nation’s trade deficit in June fell to C$626 million (US$481.3 million), according to official data released on Friday, as the nation searched for new trading partners and eased its reliance on the US. The figure was far less than the C$2.3 billion deficit forecast by economists following a C$2.7 billion deficit posted in May. In June, total exports rose 4.1 percent to C$50.7 billion, Statistics Canada said. It was the first time exports surpassed C$50 billion. Total imports edged down 0.2 percent to C$51.3 billion.
Moody’s trims German banks
Deutsche Bank AG had the credit rating of a class of debt cut to the lowest investment-grade level by Moody’s Investors Service after a change in German law last month paved the way for a more senior kind of borrowing. Moody’s downgraded the bank’s senior debt from “Baa2” to “Baa3” and reclassified the bonds as “junior senior” debt. The German government is now less likely to support what are currently senior notes, the ratings firm said in a statement on Friday. In a separate statement, Moody’s said that it downgraded the long-term senior unsecured debt of 14 German banks.
Iran Air to receive airplanes
Iran Air yesterday said that it was set to take delivery of five new airplanes from French-Italian firm ATR just before renewed US sanctions go into effect. “Based on existing agreements, five new ATR aircraft will land at Mehrabad Airport at 9 am tomorrow,” the national carrier said on its Telegram channel. The new ATR 72-600 airplanes are part of a deal for 20 new aircraft that Iran Air agreed to buy in April last year, of which eight have been delivered. The deal was thrown into doubt by Washington’s decision to withdraw from a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers and reimpose sanctions, part of which are due to resume from Tuesday.
ICE to launch trade platform
The New York Stock Exchange’s parent company on Friday announced plans to launch a bitcoin trading platform and partner with Starbucks Corp on a digital currency payment app. The new exchange, dubbed Bakkt, aims to bring a measure of confidence to bitcoin transactions, Intercontinental Exchange Inc (ICE) said in a statement. “We aim to build confidence in the asset class on a global scale,” ICE CEO Jeffrey Sprecher said. Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler described the venture as an “on-ramp” for investors that provides “greater efficiency, security and utility.”
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