CIT reaches loan deal
US business lending giant CIT Group reached an emergency loan agreement worth US$3 billion with a group of its main bondholders to avoid bankruptcy, the firm said in a statement on Monday. The private loan, sought after the US government declined last week to offer the company another bailout, is “intended to provide CIT with liquidity necessary to ensure that its important base of small and middle market customers continues to have access to credit,” CIT said. The money is meant to give the company several weeks to set up an exchange of bondholders’ debt for equity.
Volvo posts Q2 sales loss
The world’s second-biggest truck maker Volvo Group said yesterday that its net sales fell by a third in the second quarter compared with the same period a year earlier. The Swedish group’s net sales fell by 32.7 percent to 53.9 million kronor (US$7 million) in the April to June period. Adjusted for currency changes and other factors, the decline was 45 percent. It made an operating loss of 6.8 million kronor compared to an operating profit of 7.2 million in the second quarter of last year.
State firms report losses
Profit at top state-owned companies fell 26.2 percent in the first half of the year but the decline is easing amid massive government stimulus spending, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday. The 136 banks, airlines, oil producers and other companies controlled by the central government reported total profit of 316 billion yuan (US$46 billion) from January to last month, Xinhua said, citing the director of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission. The profit decline was an improvement over the first quarter’s more severe 41.8 percent contraction, Xinhua said.
‘Globe’ staff take cuts
Staff at the teetering Boston Globe said they have agreed to a package of wage and benefit cuts, as the newspaper gropes for multimillion-dollar savings to stay afloat. The Globe’s owners, the New York Times Co, had asked workers to accept concessions in pay, benefits and job security as it looks to limit losses and find a buyer for the New England daily. The New York Times reported the deal could spell savings of up to US$10 million a year.
Venturers cut investments
Venture capitalists cut their US investments in half during the spring, the second-consecutive quarter to mark a more than 50 percent decline, leaving the money flowing to startups at the slowest trickle in 12 years. Nearly US$3.7 billion poured into 612 venture-capital deals in the three months ending in last month, statistics from PricewaterhouseCoopers, Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association showed yesterday.
Kingdom Holding profits fall
Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding said yesterday that its latest quarterly profits fell more than 80 percent from the same period of last year but showed signs of recovery. Kingdom showed profits of 92.1 million riyals (US$24.6 million) for the three months to June 30, compared with 534.7 million riyals for the same quarter last year, the company said. But the figure still represented an increase from the first quarter of this year, when Kingdom, tightly controlled by Alwaleed, reported a 50.1 million riyal profit.
NINE NEW CASES: The CECC said two locally transmitted cases of COVID-19, and seven imported ones – five women and two men – brought the nation’s total to 348 People who refuse to wear a mask on public transportation after being asked to do so would face a NT$3,000 to NT$15,000 fine, effective immediately, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday after announcing nine additional COVID-19 cases. In a move to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications on Tuesday announced that people must wear masks on trains and intercity buses, while Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, on Tuesday said that people should wear them when they cannot maintain a social distance of 1.5m indoors. Chen yesterday
TRILLION PROPOSED: The premier said the goal was to keep ‘businesses solvent, the unemployment rate down, transportation and logistics going, and cash flowing’ The Executive Yuan yesterday announced an expanded economic stimulus package totaling NT$1.05 trillion (US$34.64 billion), including NT$81.6 billion in subsidies for employers to prevent a spike in unemployment. The increased budget comprises a special budget of NT$210 billion, up from the NT$60 billion already passed by the Legislative Yuan; NT$140 billion — up from NT$40 billion — to be appropriated from the general budget; and NT$700 billion in loans to industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics Minister Chu Tzer-ming (朱澤民) told a news conference at the Executive Yuan in Taipei. The NT$150 billion increase in the
TARGETED TEXTS: The center’s head said that visitor numbers at scenic spots were greater than expected and people did not do a very good job of social distancing The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday sent two warning text messages to urge people to practice social distancing, especially by avoiding crowded scenic areas. The two messages were sent at 11:55am on the third day of the four-day Tomb Sweeping Day weekend, reminding people about social distancing and hand hygiene to help prevent COVID-19 infection. “When visiting crowded scenic spots during the Tomb Sweeping Day weekend, please keep a social distance of at least 1.5m indoors and 1m outdoors, wear a mask and wash your hands frequently. Please wear a mask and seek immediate medical attention if you are feeling ill
The US National Security Council yesterday thanked Taiwan for its support amid the COVID-19 pandemic following President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) announcement that Taiwan would donate 10 million masks to hard-hit countries. The donation includes 2 million masks to the US on top of the weekly 100,000 announced previously; 7 million to Europe; and 1 million to diplomatic allies, on top of 1 million Taiwan procured for allies from their neighboring countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday. After European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed appreciation for the donations, the US body yesterday wrote its thanks on Twitter. “We