Qantas to slash senior jobs
Australian airline Qantas is planning to slash 100 senior executive jobs in response to the slump in global air travel, a report said yesterday. The move would also allow recently appointed chief executive Alan Joyce to stamp his authority on the country’s largest airline, the Australian Financial Review reported, citing unnamed senior sources at Qantas. It said the job losses, to be announced in coming weeks, came on top of the 1,500 positions Qantas announced it would scrap last July. The airline refused to comment on the report. A number of key executives have already left the company, including the head of engineering David Cox and chief financial officer Peter Gregg.
Economy to contract 7%
Commerzbank AG said the German economy would contract as much as 7 percent this year, cutting its forecast after factory orders collapsed. “The recent collapse of order intake compels us to make a massive downward revision to our economic outlook,” Joerg Kraemer, chief economist at Commerzbank in Frankfurt, said in a note to clients yesterday. “We now expect the German economy to contract this year not only by 3 percent to 4 percent, but by 6 percent to 7 percent. And we have sharply lowered our forecasts for the euro-zone and the US.”
Oil prices above US$52
Oil prices rose above US$52 a barrel yesterday in Asia, boosted by stronger Asian stock markets amid plans by the US government to buy bad assets from banks to contain the financial crisis. Benchmark crude for May delivery rose US$0.45 to US$52.52 a barrel by midday in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract edged up US$0.03 on Friday to settle at US$52.07, the first time crude ended the week above US$50 since last year. Dealers said the rally, which was given an extra boost by the US Federal Reserve’s decision to buy US$1.25 trillion of government bonds and mortgage-backed securities, continued yesterday as Asian equity markets rose in anticipation of more good news.
China favors US bonds
US Treasury bonds will remain central to China’s plans for investing its massive foreign exchange holdings, a deputy governor of the Chinese central bank said yesterday. “Investing in US Treasury bonds is an important element in China’s investment strategy and we will continue this practice,” Hu Xiaolian (胡曉煉) told reporters. China has been the top holder of US Treasury bonds since September, when it overtook Japan for the first time, US data showed. As of late January, it had accumulated a total of US$739.6 billion in US Treasury bonds.
Antique toys sold off
KB Toys Inc co-founder Donald Kaufman’s decision to go ahead with auctioning off his antique toys in a recession turned out to be a good one. The first 1,500 lots of his 7,000-piece collection sold for a little more than the US$4 million high estimate in a three-day sale from last Thursday until last Saturday at Bertoia Auctions in Vineland, New Jersey. “Everyone kept saying, ‘Boy, the recession isn’t going on in this room,’” auction-house owner Jeanne Bertoia, 54, said in a telephone interview. The auction set a record for the 20-year-old company on a single sale. Kaufman, 78, sold his stake in KB Toys in 1981. He decided to part with his antiques two years ago to divest his assets and invest the proceeds.
EXTRADITION DEAL? A former prosecutor said that the US Department of Justice might ask Taiwan to extradite the men in return for the US doing something in return The US won arrest warrants for three Taiwanese men — a former president of China-based Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co (福建晉華) and two engineers — charged with stealing secrets from Idaho-based Micron Technology Inc. The effort to apprehend the three men — former Fujian Jinhua president Stephen Chen (陳正坤), and Ho Chien-ting (何建廷) and Wang Yong-ming (王永銘), who work for Taiwan-based United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) — is notable because they were charged in 2018 in the first case filed under the “China initiative” of US President Donald Trump’s administration targeting trade-secret theft, hacking and economic espionage. However, legal experts have said
There was a net reduction last year in the number of Taipei residents and this year is expected to set a 23-year high for population decline in the city, Ministry of the Interior statistics released yesterday showed. From January to last month, 18,861 more people moved out of Taipei than moved into the capital, an increase of 7,000 from the same period last year, the data showed. That is a 7.2 percent decrease in the city’s population since the start of the year, the biggest drop in both percentage and total number among all municipalities and counties nationwide, the data showed. The data
COUNCILS CLASH: The Mainland Affairs Council said a new office in Hong Kong is to assist people with issues related to investment, study and employment in Taiwan The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday denied an accusation by the Hong Kong-Taiwan Economic and Cultural Co-operation and Promotion Council that its Taiwanese counterpart in the territory was “interfering with Hong Kong’s internal affairs.” The Hong Kong council leveled the accusation after Taipei’s Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Co-operation Council this month announced it would establish a Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office to facilitate humanitarian aid for Hong Kongers. The new office is scheduled to begin operations on Wednesday. The MAC yesterday asked the Hong Kong council to “not misinterpret” the government’s intentions. The two Taiwan-Hong Kong councils were established in 2010 to
IRRESPONSIBLE ATTITUDES? Some experts say the NHI system does not do enough to educate the public, or pay doctors to talk to patients, about healthy lifestyles While the life expectancy of Taiwanese newborns in 2018 reached 80.69 years, the number of years people spent in poor health hit a record high at 8.41 years, Ministry of Health and Welfare statistics showed on Saturday. Healthy life expectancy is calculated by a person’s life expectancy minus the time they spend in ill health, such as the loss of mobility, disabilities and chronic disease, based on medical records and calculations about the years they live with disabilities. The number of years that Taiwanese spend in poor health is increasing slowly, but steadily, rising by 0.46 years, or five-and-a-half months, between 2012