HSBC screened `bad' cash
HSBC, one of the world's biggest banks, helped screen large deposits of cash from North Korean customers for a Macau bank accused by the US of helping Pyongyang distribute counterfeit money, a lawyer for the Macau bank has told US investigators. "We take money laundering control very seriously. We comply stringently with anti-money-laundering regulations issued by our various regulators, including in the US," HSBC spokesman Gareth Hewett in Hong Kong said. The Macau lender, Banco Delta Asia, said it was a "small, family-owned institution" that didn't have the technology to check big batches of US currency for fake bills.
Hynix CEO to resign
Hynix Semiconductor's chief executive, who helped lead the South Korean chipmaker out of a major debt crisis, plans to resign, a company official said yesterday. Woo Eui-jei, 63, told a board meeting on Monday of his intention to step down, said James Kim, a Hynix investor relations official. A new CEO was expected to be named and approved by the company's board and shareholders by the end of next month, Kim said, emphasizing that Woo's decision was entirely his own. News of the resignation came as the Icheon, South Korea-based company said on Wednesday its net profit and sales hit all-time highs in the fourth quarter.
Bank plans Vietnam deal
Deutsche Bank plans to buy up to 20 percent of Vietnam's Habubank, pending state approval, becoming the third foreign bank in a week to announce plans to increase its presence here, officials said yesterday. If the contract is approved, Deutsche Bank will become the largest shareholder in the Ha Noi Building Joint Stock Commercial Bank and be entitled to join its board of directors. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. The banks will cooperate in the areas of credit cards, wealthy clients and the development and distribution of investment products.
Amazon profits plummet
Online retailer Amazon reported on Thursday that its profits plummeted in the year-end quarter of last year despite record holiday-season sales. Amazon's net income for its fourth fiscal quarter was US$98 million, or US$0.23 per share, as compared with US$199 million, or US$0.47 per share, during the same period in 2005. Executives said that the loss of a tax benefit resulted in the government taking a bigger chunk of its revenues last year. The Seattle, Washington-based Internet company had also continued spending money on its strategy of diversifying stocks of goods and wooing devotees with free shipping of purchases by members of its subscription Amazon Prime service.
Union seeks Tata assurance
Britain's largest steel trade union has demanded a meeting with Indian tycoon Ratan Tata, seeking assurances he will remain committed to expanding Corus Group Plc after his winning US$13.7 billion bid for the Anglo-Dutch steelmaker. Community, which describes itself as the dominant union in Corus representing 80 percent of its UK employees, also sought British government backing for the steel industry's attempt to ward off "accelerated or slow demise" and protect jobs.
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator