New tariff cuts announced
The government has announced another round of tariff cuts, lowering import taxes on more than 700 goods from Tuesday next week as part of its efforts to open up the economy and lower costs for domestic consumers. There would also be cuts to some export tariffs and temporary import tariff rates would be as low as zero for some goods, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday. The “temporary” rates can be changed ad hoc and can be lower than the current Most-Favored Nations standard, although they are also available to all WTO members.
EU-compliant budget passed
After a raucous session, the Senate has approved a national budget law that was tweaked in a bid to satisfy EU concerns. Much of the government’s planned spending for next year, which won passage in parliament’s upper chamber at about 3am on Sunday, satisfies the expensive campaign promises by the country’s populist coalition. Those included rolling back pension changes and guaranteeing income for the jobless or underemployed. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s government is rushing to win final approval of the budget in the lower Chamber of Deputies later this week.
Euronext eyeing Oslo Bors
Euronext NV is making a 625 million euros (US$712 million) cash tender offer for Oslo Bors VPS, the Norwegian Stock Exchange and national CSD operator, as consolidation among trading exchanges accelerates. Euronext has already secured support for the offer from Oslo Bors shareholders representing 49.6 percent of all outstanding shares and is offering 145 Norwegian kroner a share, according to a statement released yesterday.
Musk sees ‘tight’ schedule
Tesla Inc production should have all mid-range Model 3 orders delivered by the end of the year, although “it will be tight,” Tesla chief executive Elon Musk tweeted on Saturday. The company has released all cars for sale where original customers cannot take the delivery before this month, Musk said. If someone’s order does not make it in time, Tesla would cover the tax credit difference if the company committed delivery and the customer made “good faith” efforts to receive it before the end of the year, Musk said.
Banks reach tax settlements
Major banks in the kingdom reached settlements worth a combined 16.7 billion riyals (US$4.5 billion) with the tax authority over a religious levy that the lenders had been kicking against. The deals come as the kingdom predicted a budget shortfall of 131 billion riyals, or 4.2 percent of GDP, for next year. The tax authority had extended the 2.5 percent religious levy, known as zakat, by including items that were previously exempt, while eliminating some deductions. Al Rajhi Bank was hit with the highest payment, agreeing to pay 5.41 billion riyals.
Banks take over telecom
A group of major banks took control of Turk Telekom AS, the nation’s largest telecom, setting it up for a likely sale after previous owner Otas defaulted on a multibillion-dollar loan. Akbank TAS is to hold 35.6 percent of the special purpose vehicle set up to take on Otas’ 55 percent controlling stake. Turkiye Garanti Bankasi AS is to have 22.1 percent of that entity and Turkiye Is Bankasi AS’ share is to be 11.6 percent, according to filings on Saturday.
POOR INTERNAL CONTROLS: Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa said the company is expected to get back on track while its chairman is suspended The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$939,415) for a reckless investment that endangered its solvency, and suspended its chairman Eugene Wu (吳東進) for poor supervision. The penalty is the second-highest in a single case after Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) was fined NT$30 million in September last year and its chairman Du Ying-tzyong (杜英宗) suspended for two years, the commission said. In three rounds of special and regular examinations conducted since last year, the commission found that Shin Kong Life had given too much power to an asset and liability management committee
Nano-X Imaging Ltd, a start-up founded by Israeli investor Ran Poliakine, is joining forces with South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc to build a machine that could disrupt a century-old X-ray industry. Valued at about US$2 billion after listing on the NASDAQ last month, Nano-X is seeking to transform a multibillion-dollar industry that has essentially relied on the same technology since Nobel Prize in Physics winner Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-rays in the late 19th century. Nano-X’s device uses semiconductors instead of metal filaments to generate X-rays. The backing of SK Hynix, the world’s second-largest maker of memory chips, is a boost for
Continental AG, which makes control units for Daimler AG cars, cannot pursue antitrust claims against a group of patent owners, including Qualcomm Inc, which are seeking royalties on telecommunications technology, a federal judge in Texas ruled. Avanci LLC, a licensing pool formed by Qualcomm, Nokia Oyj, Sharp Corp and other owners of patents on technology standards, is not breaching antitrust laws when it negotiates license agreements with automakers rather than the component makers, Barbara Lynn, chief district judge for the Northern District of Texas, said in dismissing the suit in a decision posted on Friday. The licensing group charges US$15 per vehicle
Sony Corp has cut its estimated Play Station 5 (PS5) production for this fiscal year by 4 million units, down to about 11 million, following production issues with its custom-designed system-on-chip (SOC) for the new console, people familiar with the matter said. The Tokyo-based electronics giant in July boosted orders with suppliers in anticipation of heightened demand for gaming in the holiday season and beyond, as people spend more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the company has come up against manufacturing issues, such as production yields as low as 50 percent for its SOC, which have cut into