Daimler recalls 65,000 cars
German automaker Daimler AG has ordered a recall of nearly 65,000 Mercedes-Benz cars sold in Japan to fix potential fuel tank defects caused by parts with insufficient durability, Japanese transport and company officials said. The recall, announced on Tuesday, covers 64,550 E-Class sedan, station wagon and CLS-Class coupe models imported to Japan from February 2002 through April this year, the company's Japanese subsidiary, Mercedes-Benz Japan, and the transport ministry said. No accidents were reported from the defects, but there were 142 customer reports of the defects, the ministry said.
BT acquiring Frontline
British telecoms giant BT Group said yesterday it was acquiring Singapore-based Frontline Technologies for S$202 million (US$140 million) to beef up its regional presence. BT will pay S$0.245 for each Frontline share, representing a 33.9 percent premium to the firm's one-month average share price. "Through this acquisition we reinforce our ability to provide high quality services to our customers wherever they do business," BT Global Services CEO Frangois Barrault said in a statement. "We believe our combined reach and skills will create an unbeatable team in Asia Pacific as we seek to respond better to our customers' challenges and opportunities." Established in 1993, Frontline provides end-to-end IT services such consulting and security solutions and has more than 5,000 specialist staff in nine Asian markets, including China, Hong Kong, India, Taiwan and Thailand.
Wal-Mart ups Seiyu stake
Wal-Mart Stores has raised its stake in Japanese chain Seiyu to 95.1 percent, Seiyu said yesterday, marking the US retailer's latest attempt to solidify its foothold in the difficult Japanese market. Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world's biggest retail chain, owned 50.9 percent of Seiyu Ltd before launching an effort to buy more shares in October to attain full ownership. The results of the bid, which ended on Tuesday, were confirmed by Seiyu spokeswoman Shoko Nagata. The effort underlines Wal-Mart's strategy of taking a lead in speeding up management changes to turn around Seiyu's struggling business and ends for now doubts about whether Wal-Mart may exit Japan.
China approves refinery
China said yesterday it had approved initial work on a multibillion-dollar oil refinery project in the south, in what the official China Daily has hailed as the nation's largest ever joint venture. The daily said the project, to be jointly run by the nation's top refiner Sinopec and Kuwait Petroleum Corp, would involve US$5 billion in investment. "Initial work can be started on the project now," said an official surnamed Zhang with the National Development and Reform Commission. It will include a refinery and an ethylene plant that will be built in Nansha City, Guangdong Province.
Central bank holds rates
The central bank left interest rates on hold at an 11-year high of 6.75 percent yesterday, while warning that it remained concerned about inflationary pressure. The decision by the Reserve Bank of Australia, which last month raised rates by 0.25 percentage points for the 10th time since 2002, had been widely expected by economists.
KEEP AWAY: People should wear a mask in places where they cannot follow social distancing rules, the CECC said, adding that it would publish detailed guidelines today The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 16 new cases of COVID-19, including two domestic cases, as it urged people to practice social distancing in public spaces by keeping a distance of at least 1m when outdoors and 1.5m indoors. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that seven of the new cases tested positive upon their arrival at the airport, four were under home quarantine, one was under home isolation and two were under self-health management, while the two domestic cases sought treatment on their own. The domestic cases are a man in his
Taiwan will negotiate with the WHO about its participation without Beijing’s help and intervention as more countries, including Australia and Japan, are partnering with Taiwan to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephonic roundtable with reporters on Monday also supported Taiwan’s role in the WHO, saying the US Department of State would do its best to assist Taiwan’s “appropriate role” in the world’s highest health policy setting body, Voice of America reported. In a Japan Business Press report published on Sunday, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou (孔鉉佑) said
‘HEROIC’: A lack of personal protective equipment has led to high infection rates among health workers in places like Spain and Italy, a nurses’ association said More equipment is needed to protect the world’s nurses working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic to save lives, the head of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) said. “They are heroic. I think there is no other way to describe what they are doing at this moment,” said Howard Catton, a British nurse who is the council’s CEO. Infection rates of 9 percent and 12 to 14 percent have been reported among health workers in Italy and Spain respectively, he said, adding that nurses have died in the two nations, as well as Iran and Indonesia. “We have no doubt
Japan’s ruling party yesterday proposed the nation’s biggest-ever stimulus package of ￥60 trillion (US$554 billion) as the COVID-19 pandemic locks the economy in a recession. The sum includes ￥20 trillion in fiscal measures with private initiatives and other elements likely making up the rest, the proposal by the Liberal Democratic Party showed. More than ￥10 trillion, or the equivalent of a 5 percentage point cut in the sales tax rate, would be handed out to the public in a combination of cash, subsidies and coupons, the plan showed. The proposal puts an initial figure on a stimulus package that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo