Boost expected in the US
The US banking sector is set to see a flurry of deals next year, Ernst & Young LLP said on Tuesday. Transactions are to be fueled by easing regulations and a US tax overhaul, which has helped lenders build up a war chest to spend on acquisitions and technology, the financial advisory firm said in a report. The value of mergers and acquisitions in the US financial services sector has this year more than doubled to US$196.5 billion, from US$82.3 billion last year, the report showed.
Pound makes a comeback
The pound rallied yesterday as the market judged that British Prime Minister Theresa May might survive a threat to her leadership. Sterling recovered from a 20-month low and gilts fell after May said that she would contest a vote of no confidence and many of her Cabinet ministers came out in support of her. Options betting on overnight pound-US dollar volatility soared to the highest since June last year, ahead of the vote yesterday evening. Sterling climbed 0.4 percent to US$1.2539 by 9:27am in London after touching US$1.2478, the lowest since April last year. It gained 0.3 percent against the euro to ￡0.9034 per euro.
Firms’ default risk soars
Default risk for companies has climbed to the highest in 13 years as Beijing seeks to rein in its post-crisis construction boom, Moody’s Analytics said. The research group’s measure of expected default frequency has risen above early-warning levels for about 25 percent of corporate borrowers. China has already seen a record pace of bond defaults this year, a consequence in part of policymakers’ efforts to reduce leverage in the financial system. While the economy remains in relatively firm shape, the country is now at a pivotal juncture, the firm said in a report.
Inflation accelerates to 5.2%
The nation’s inflation rate jumped to the highest level since May last year as surging transport costs continue to weigh on the economy. Consumer prices rose 5.2 percent from a year earlier, compared with 5.1 percent in October, Statistics South Africa said in a statement yesterday. The median estimate of 17 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for 5.1 percent. The unexpected acceleration in inflation might ease criticism of the central bank’s decision to raise interest rates last month as the headline number moves further away from the midpoint of its target range. Fuel prices jumped 19 percent over the past 12 months after the rand weakened against the US dollar.
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
ROW: A probe would determine if the rights of shareholders who were not allowed to vote yesterday had been violated, while the stock exchange also wants answers The election of board directors yesterday at Tatung Co (大同) sparked controversy after the company blocked some institutional and individual shareholders from participating in the general shareholders’ meeting, prompting the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) to announce that the vote would be investigated. Lin Kuo Wen-yen (林郭文艷) was re-elected as chairwoman of the household-appliance maker’s nine-member board, but prior to the vote she announced that several shareholders would not have voting rights. They were being denied a vote because they had contravened the Business Mergers and Acquisitions Act (企業併購法), and the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and