Indian lender cuts rates
State Bank of India, the nation’s biggest state-run lender, cut the interest rates paid on deposits of varying terms by 25 basis points. The rate on term deposits of one year to less than two years was lowered to 7 percent from 7.25 percent, the Mumbai-based bank said on its Web site. Interest on deposits of two years to less than 1,000 days was cut to 7.25 percent from 7.5 percent. The new rates are effective from tomorrow on deposits of less than 10 million rupees (US$210,349), the bank said. State Bank last reduced deposit rates on May 18.
Australia braced for losses
Australian workers will suffer more job losses as the global recession spreads, Treasurer Wayne Swan said. “The global recession will continue to batter our economy, and like other nations, we need to brace ourselves for more job losses in Australia,” Swan said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. “While we received some good news last week on the housing and confidence front, there is no room for complacency.” The jobless rate rose to 5.7 percent from a revised 5.5 percent last month.
Cheap retailers prosper
JB Hi-Fi Ltd, an Australian discount electronics retailer, said sellers of low-priced goods are benefiting as the effects of the global recession reduce spending power in the nation. “They’re growing and growing comfortably at this part of the cycle,” chairman Patrick Elliott said in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corp yesterday. “One of the great things about the discount end of the market is that you always remain very, very focused on your costs. That’s been, I think, a real success, certainly for JB Hi-Fi.”
S Korea power sales drop
Electricity sales to South Korean industrial companies fell in May as automakers and oil refiners cut production because economic growth slowed. Industrial power sales dropped 1.4 percent by volume from a year earlier, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Sales volume declined 4 percent in the first five months of this year. Automakers’ power use fell 17.6 percent and consumption by oil refiners fell 6.7 percent, the ministry said.
HK passenger traffic falls
Passenger traffic at Hong Kong Airport fell almost 13 percent last month because of the global recession and concerns over the spread of swine flu, the city’s international airport said. Some 3.6 million trips were made from the airport last month, a drop of 12.7 percent from a year earlier, an airport statement said yesterday. The volume of cargo handled declined 17.6 percent. “The prevailing trend in passenger traffic and air-traffic movements is expected to continue and will likely further deteriorate in June,” Airport Authority chief executive officer Stanley Hui (許漢忠) said in the statement.
US adjusts Chrysler figure
The US Treasury Department said on Friday that a loan it is making to a reorganized Chrysler Group LLC totals US$6.642 billion, instead of the US$6.943 billion that it estimated on May 27. A department official said the initial figure was simply an estimate made last month and that the figure announced on Friday was a final one. Italian automaker Fiat bought most of Chrysler’s assets, but the US and Canadian governments each will end up with small equity stakes in the new company.
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,
Taiwanese-independence advocates yesterday accused former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of breaking national security laws and called on the judiciary to investigate after his statement that “China will wage a battle, which will be quick and will be the last battle for Taiwan.” Ma showed his true colors “as a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party” in his speech on Monday when he said the “first battle will be the last,” Taiwan Republic Office (台灣國辦公室) director Chilly Chen (陳峻涵) said. “Ma is threatening Taiwanese by claiming that Beijing will launch a quick invasion of Taiwan, but that the US military will have no
CHASTISING CHINA: Taiwan’s approach to combating the coronavirus stands in stark contrast to the country where the outbreak began, the US health secretary said International organizations are not the place to play politics, especially when the matter relates to healthcare, US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said in Taipei yesterday, adding that the region and the world are safer because of Taiwan’s commitment to health promotion. On the third day of his visit, the highest-level visit by a senior US Cabinet official in decades, Azar met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) at the Grand Mayfull Hotel in Zhongshan District (中山) yesterday morning, following his meetings with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中)