Japanese top regional list
Japan’s rich have the largest accumulation of wealth in the Asia-Pacific region at US$7.7 trillion, but legions of Chinese millionaires are rushing to catch up. The pool of wealth held by China’s high-net worth individuals grew more than 144 percent from 2010 to last year to US$6.5 trillion, consultancy Capgemini SE’s Asia-Pacific Wealth Report said yesterday. The equivalent rate of growth in Japan over the same period was about 87 percent. More recently, India’s millionaires have been picking up the pace. Wealth held by Indian high-net worth individuals rose close to 22 percent last year compared with the prior year, the fastest growth in the region over that period, Capgemini said. Hong Kong had the third-highest growth at 16.3 percent, mainly thanks to a booming real-estate market. Taiwan was fifth after Thailand.
Cook, Ivanka tour schools
Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook on Tuesday toured schools in Idaho with Ivanka Trump, one day after US President Donald Trump threatened to slap tariffs on the iPhone and other mobile phones made in China. The trip provided Cook an opportunity for extended conversation with the president’s daughter and senior adviser just before Donald Trump holds a key meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) in Buenos Aires later this week. Trade tensions are to be a major part of the agenda. While the iPhone has been spared in the US’ ongoing trade dispute with China, Trump on Monday said that he might include it in another round of tariffs on Chinese imports.
Microsoft surpasses Apple
Microsoft Corp surpassed Apple to become the world’s most valuable publicly traded company — all it took was a US$300 billion rout. After briefly claiming the top spot on Monday, Microsoft shares on Tuesday rose 0.6 percent, pushing the company’s market value to US$828.1 billion at the close. That exceeded by more than US$1 billion the value of Apple, which has tumbled this month on concern about iPhone sales. The last time Microsoft’s market capitalization was bigger than Apple was in 2010, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. A recent stock market swoon has taken a toll on nearly all technology companies, but investors have punished consumer-focused companies like Apple and Amazon.com Inc more than firms that mostly cater to businesses, like Microsoft. Microsoft is down 6.3 percent since the start of last month, while Apple has lost 23 percent.
PIMCO sole buyer of bonds
Pacific Investment Management Co (PIMCO) was the sole buyer of UniCredit SpA’s surprise US$3 billion sale of five-year bonds, said two people with knowledge of the transaction, who asked for anonymity. The bond issue, unusually large for a private offering, was taken up by a “prime institutional investor,” UniCredit said in a statement. It was UniCredit’s second sale of senior non-preferred notes, a type of security that can be held by managers of funds that can only invest in senior debt, even though it allows regulators to force investors to take losses in a crisis. The sale would help support the Italian bank’s capital position and boost its subordination ratio by about 73 basis points, the bank said. The cost of the transaction is equivalent to a spread of 420 basis points above the euro five-year swap rate, UniCredit said. That compares with a spread of 70 basis points from a January issue, a European Securities Network note 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
‘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
GOGOROS TO GO: The scooter maker’s CEO said that the electric vehicles ‘are the perfect complement to a program designed to stimulate the Taiwanese economy’ Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) yesterday announced a draw to encourage people to claim their Triple Stimulus Vouchers digitally. The prizes include movie tickets and 25 electric scooters donated by Gogoro Inc (睿能創意), Wang said. The Ministry of Economic Affairs said that it would hold a scooter draw every day for the next 10 days, beginning yesterday, after which there would be a draw every week for 15 weeks. The first winner was a Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合庫銀行) credit card user, the ministry said. The benefits of claiming the vouchers digitally extend beyond the draws, with many businesses offering special deals for