Sat, Jul 20, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

EQUITIES

STAR to debut on Monday

Less than a year after Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) first touted the project, China’s new stock venue designed for technology start-ups is to start trading on Monday. Twenty-five companies will be part of the launch of the STAR board in Shanghai, out of the more than 100 hopefuls that applied to go public on the platform. Endorsement from top officials helped generate such enthusiasm that the firms raised a combined US$5.4 billion, about 20 percent more than planned. Demand from retail investors has outstripped supply by an average 1,800 times, even as some analysts voiced concern over lofty valuations. One company priced its shares at 171 times earnings. “There’s a good chance we’ll see a rush into these stocks due to the limited supply,” Bright Smart Securities analyst Mark Huang said.

SOFTWARE

FaceApp under investigation

Poland and Lithuania on Thursday said they were looking into the potential security risks of using a Russian-made face-editing app that has triggered a viral social media trend where users post “aged” selfies. The Polish Ministry of Digital Affairs said it was “analyzing” the security risks posed by FaceApp to the personal data of its users, despite assurances by its designers that the app is safe. “Various experts point to possible risks related to inadequate protection of users’ privacy,” the ministry said in a statement on its Web site. Cybersecurity authorities in Lithuania were also investigating potential threats posed by FaceApp, which might affect users’ personal data, Lithuanian Deputy Minister of National Defense Edvinas Kerza said.

TRADE

US launches sanctions

The US on Thursday imposed sanctions on an international network of companies and their agents it said were involved in the procurement of materials for Iran’s nuclear program. “[The US Department of the Treasury] is taking action to shut down an Iranian nuclear procurement network that leverages Chinese and Belgium-based front companies to acquire critical nuclear materials and benefit the regime’s malign ambitions,” US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. The firsm acted as a procurement network for Iran’s Centrifuge Technology Co, or TESA, which plays a pivotal role in Tehran’s uranium enrichment nuclear program through the production of centrifuges used in facilities belonging to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, the department said, adding that China-based Henan Jiayuan Aluminum Industry (河南嘉源鋁業) was contracted to sell more than US$500,000 of aluminum goods, including NSG-controlled items, to TAWU BVBA for use by TESA.

AUTOMAKERS

Oliver Zipse to lead BMW

BMW AG has promoted production chief Oliver Zipse to chief executive officer, resetting its leadership to catch up with rivals in the transition to an era of self-driving, electric cars. Zipse is to succeed Harald Krueger, 53, who stepped down after four years, following struggles to set a course for the German luxury-car maker, which consistently trailed Mercedes-Benz in sales while ceding the mantle of automotive innovator to Tesla Inc. Zipse, 55, will take charge of the Munich-based automaker on Aug. 16, succeeding Krueger, whose contract had been due to run through April 2020, the company said on Thursday, following a supervisory board meeting in the US. A BMW spokesman declined to comment on the terms of his contract.

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