JAL looks to biofuel
Japan Airlines Corp (JAL) is planning to fly a biofuel-powered airliner by the end of next March to help speed up research on alternatives to kerosene-based jet fuel. JAL plans to fly a Boeing 747 for an hour using the alternative fuel, it said in a statement yesterday. One of the plane’s four engines, built by United Technologies Corp’s Pratt & Whitney unit, will run on biofuel, the company said. Japan Air follows Air New Zealand Ltd in teaming up with Boeing to plan a test flight using biofuel. JAL said a decision on what type of biofuel to use has not been made.
■ FOREIGN INVESTMENT
Daiwa to invest in China
Daiwa Securities Group Inc, Japan’s second-largest brokerage, said it will invest US$100 million in a private equity fund that plans to buy stakes in government-owned and privately held Chinese companies. Daiwa and its Daiwa Securities SMBC Co investment banking unit will seek more cross-border transactions between Japan and China through the investment in the US$2.5 billion fund, the brokerage said in a statement to the Tokyo Stock Exchange yesterday. The company aims to expand abroad after tumbling commissions for arranging stock sales in Japan led to a fourth-quarter loss of ¥12.9 billion (US$120 million). Daiwa plans to invest about ¥200 billion of its own money in the coming year to restore profit, it said in February. Daiwa SMBC will lift principal investments to about ¥600 billion from ¥408 billion as of Dec. 31, president Shin Yoshidome said in a Feb. 8 interview. The Tokyo-based firm will mainly buy stakes in unlisted Chinese companies, he said.
British prices cooling
Asking prices for homes in England and Wales stood 0.1 percent higher on a year ago this month, with the rate of annual price growth cooling from 2.2 percent last month, a survey showed yesterday. Property Web site Rightmove said average asking prices fell 1.2 percent this month after a 1.2 percent gain last month. That put the average asking price at £239,564 (US$473,000). The figures, which are not adjusted to take seasonal factors in the market into account, are less gloomy than some other surveys but reinforce the view that Britain’s once-red hot housing market is feeling the impact of the credit crunch. Miles Shipside, Rightmove’s commercial director, said home sellers’ expectations had fallen. “The adjustment is belated but in some ways welcome as it makes homes affordable for buyers,” he said. “Thankfully, new sellers are now taking some proactive steps to price more realistic from the outset to attract increasingly hard-pressed buyers.”
Bunge buying Corn Products
Bunge Ltd, the world’s largest oilseed processor, agreed to buy Corn Products International Inc for US$56 a share in stock. The takeover offer has a value of US$4.8 billion including US$414 million of Corn Products debt, White Plains, New York-based Bunge said yesterday in a statement distributed by PR Newswire.
DoCoMo looking to buy
Japan’s top mobile telephone operator NTT DoCoMo Inc is on the prowl for overseas acquisitions to drive growth, new president Ryuji Yamada said yesterday. The increased focus on overseas business comes amid fierce competition between the top players in Japan’s saturated mobile telephone market. “We are going to look into opportunities outside of Japan aggressively,” Yamada told a press conference.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
‘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
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.