■ STOCK MARKET
Chinese firms set record
Chinese firms raised a record amount of nearly US$57 billion on the country's stock market over the first nine months of the year, state press said yesterday. The sum of 425 billion yuan (US$56.7 billion) had surpassed the total of 423.9 billion yuan raised on China's markets from 2002 to last year, Xinhua news agency said. Some 35 percent of the money raised this year came in 15 initial public offerings (IPOs) last month, which garnered 149 billion yuan, the report said, citing the China Securities Journal. Some 126.7 billion yuan of the total raised this year came through secondary public offerings.
Toshiba, JFE sign contract
Japan's Toshiba Plant Systems & Services Corp. and JFE Engineering, a unit of steelmaker JFE Holdings Inc, said yesterday they have signed a contract to jointly make and sell steam turbines for power generation. The lucrative market for power generation equipment is fostering tie-ups that cross industry lines. JFE is one of the country's larger steel manufacturers, and Toshiba Plant Systems is a group company of Toshiba Corp. The companies said the deal will allow Toshiba Plant Systems to expand its products to turbines for thermal generators of 100 megawatts and below.
Wal-Mart opens new bank
Wal-Mart Stores Inc's Mexico unit said on Tuesday it has passed the final regulatory hurdle to launching its own bank in Mexico and will open branches as soon as next month. Wal-Mart de Mexico SA, the country's largest retailer and private-sector employer, said the National Banking and Securities Commission on Monday authorized it to start banking operations. The new bank will operate under the name Banco Wal-Mart de Mexico Adelante. "With Banco Wal-Mart we will be able to complement the services we provide to the segment of the population that currently lacks the benefits of having accessible banking services," said Eduardo Solorzano, president and CEO of Wal-Mart de Mexico.
Morgan Stanley cuts jobs
Morgan Stanley said on Tuesday it is cutting about 600 jobs and consolidating its mortgage businesses, after a credit crisis upended the home loan industry this summer and forced other investment banks into similar moves. It comes two weeks after the company posted a worse fiscal third quarter than analysts expected. Morgan Stanley had to take a US$940 million writedown in the quarter for loans -- made to fuel the corporate buyout boom -- that were stuck on its books. The bank will reduce jobs in the US and Europe and close certain offices.
Microsoft buys Jellyfish
The battle for terrain in the lucrative Internet search market continued on Tuesday with Microsoft revealing it has bought Jellyfish, a US firm specializing in comparison shopping online. "We purchased Jellyfish.com," Microsoft search and advertising platform group vice president Alex Gounares said. "We think the technology has some really interesting potential applications as we continue to invest heavily in shopping/commerce as a key vertical for Live Search." Jellyfish offers shoppers money back for purchases made through the Web site.
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in
JUST QUESTIONS: Expelled reporter Ai Kezhu said that every member of Southeast Television had complied with the law and had not appeared on any talk shows Two Chinese reporters yesterday left Taiwan after the government revoked their accreditation and ordered them to leave amid a probe into allegations that several Chinese media outlets have set up studios and produced political talk shows in Taiwan. The two reporters — Ai Kezhu (艾珂竹) and Lu Qiang (盧薔) — worked for Fujian Province-based Southeast Television and arrived in Taiwan in December last year. The Mainland Affairs Council has launched an investigation after local media reported that Chinese broadcasters — including China Central Television, Southeast Television and FJTV — had set up studios in Taipei and produced political talk shows. Council Deputy Minister
UPTICK IN NUMBERS: The Taipei deputy mayor said the city has services to assist new immigrants, but has established an office specifically to help those from Hong Kong The Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office today officially opens, where it is to provide humanitarian assistance to Hong Kongers, after Beijing yesterday passed a controversial national security law for the territory. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed dismay over China’s passage of the law, saying that Beijing has broken its pledge to allow Hong Kong to maintain a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years following its handover from the UK. “I feel extremely disappointed [about the law’s passage], which means China did not keep its promise to Hong Kong,” Tsai said in Taipei. Beijing’s “broken promise” also
‘BASELESS ACCUSATIONS’: Ker Chien-ming said it was not possible to drop Chen Chu’s nomination, while KMT lawmakers accused their DPP rivals of ‘homicidal behavior’ The Legislative Yuan is to vote on President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) nominations for the Control Yuan on July 17 after Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators regained access to the legislative chamber yesterday after it was occupied by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers for about 19 hours. The Legislative Yuan had been scheduled to meet yesterday morning to discuss its planned extraordinary session, but more than 20 KMT lawmakers on Sunday afternoon broke into the main chamber and occupied the legislative speaker’s podium to protest Tsai’s nomination of former Presidential Office secretary-general Chen Chu (陳菊) to be Control Yuan president. The KMT caucus