Roche acquires Genentech
Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche said yesterday it had completed its US$46.8 billion takeover of US-based biotech firm Genentech. Roche, which already held 55.7 percent of Genentech stock, said it acquired a further 37.5 percent of shares by the offer deadline on Wednesday. Roche said it had been guaranteed the transfer of a further 3 percent of Genentech shares in the coming days, taking its total holding to 96.2 percent and allowing the two companies to undergo a short-form merger.
Dell targets PRC farmers
Dell Inc will sell PCs to China’s farmers, seeking to boost sales from a potential market of 800 million rural residents as the global recession weakens demand. Dell has 15 computer products it wants to sell to rural consumers in China, a market that makes up 5 percent of the company’s global business, the PC maker’s Greater China president Amit Midah said at a briefing in Beijing yesterday. Dell last month reported fourth-quarter sales fell 16 percent to US$13.4 billion, missing analyst estimates.
Seoul cuts taxes on cars
South Korea yesterday announced tax cuts to spur car sales during the economic slump, but urged automakers to respond with a cost-cutting drive. From May 1 to the end of the year, consumers will be given a 70 percent cut in taxes when they replace cars registered before Jan. 1, 2000, with new models, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said. The reduction will help the industry boost sales by up to 5.5 million units, the ministry said.
‘Gift checks’ issued
The government began issuing “gift checks” to more than 10 million low-income earners yesterday as part of a stimulus package to curb the impact of the global financial crisis. Around 10.5 million people in the country of 63 million are to receive the handouts, said Bangkok Bank, the country’s biggest lender, which is issuing the checks. Only people with a monthly salary of 15,000 baht or less and who are registered for social security support are eligible.
Mobile demand on the rise
Broadband-service providers will see their revenue from mobile services jump to US$137 billion worldwide by 2014, up 450 percent from last year, a report said yesterday. But the number of mobile broadband users will likely outpace revenue growth as competition drives prices lower and because most of the new clients will come from less wealthy users in emerging markets, industry consulting firm Ovum said. The number of mobile broadband users — through handsets and laptop computers — should top 2 billion in 2014, up over 1,000 percent from 181 million last year, with the Asia-Pacific region emerging as a key driver, it said.
UAE says oil prices too low
An oil price of US$70 to US$75 a barrel would be “fair,” United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan said in an interview published yesterday. A record high US$147 a barrel in July was “unreal,” he was quoted by the official WAM news agency as saying. The current “weak level” of around US$50 “hurts everyone, and in our view a fair price would be 70 to 75 dollars a barrel,” he said.
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.