Economic growth slows
The economy slowed more than expected in the last quarter and its worst drought in a 100 years was likely to keep the pressure on, official figures showed yesterday. GDP for the three months to September grew a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent -- or 2.2 percent annually -- after an upwardly revised 0.5 percent in the second quarter, originally given as 0.3 percent. Economists had forecast 0.4 percent growth, but latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the impact of the country's "big dry" had hampered a robust rise in exports. Treasurer Peter Costello said that while the figures showed solid growth, the severe drought was likely to eat into future gains.
Nation targets 8% growth
The nation has set an official economic growth target for next year of about 8 percent despite expectations the expansion will be much faster, a senior government economist said yesterday. "The central government set the annual target at about 8 percent," said Zheng Xinli (鄭新立), vice director of the economic policy research office under the politburo. Zhen was speaking to reporters after attending the ongoing annual closed-door Central Economic Work Conference where the ruling Communist Party's leaders were meeting to identify the key economic issues for the next year.
Bridgestone buys Bandag
Tire maker Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc has agreed to buy Bandag Inc, a maker of retread tires, for US$1 billion in cash, the companies announced on Tuesday. Bridgestone Americas, a subsidiary of Japan-based Bridgestone Corp, will pay US$50.75 per share for Bandag, a 13 percent premium to the company's closing stock price on Monday. The Bandag board of directors approved the sale, which is expected to close by the second quarter of next year. The deal is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval. The Iowa-based Bandag has a global network of more than 900 franchised dealers.
Tesco buys Malaysia stores
Tesco Plc, Britain's biggest retailer, bought eight Makro Cash & Carry stores in Malaysia to almost double its selling space in the Southeast Asian country. The company will "move close to becoming market leader" in Malaysia as a result of the purchase, Tesco said Wednesday in a Regulatory News Service statement. It didn't disclose the price. Tesco won a bid to buy the Makro stores, the Business Times reported Dec. 1, citing people it didn't identify. The UK company beat bidders including Carrefour SA, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Costco Wholesale Group of the US and Metro AG of Germany, the Malaysian newspaper said.
Mitsubishi faces discipline
US authorities are expected to discipline Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc for alleged lax monitoring of suspected money laundering activities, a report said yesterday. US officials have visited Japan and held final discussions with the banking group, the world's largest by assets, about the terms of the penalties, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said without naming sources. The US Federal Reserve Board and other US authorities could announce punitive measures decision as early as in the middle of December if Mitsubishi signs an agreement, the business daily reported.
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South