VW to raise US$5.7bn
Volkswagen (VW), Europe’s biggest automaker, could raise fresh capital of up to 4 billion euros (US$5.7 billion) to finance the takeover of its main shareholder Porsche, the Financial Times said yesterday. On Thursday, VW said it would take control of the sports car icon after a lengthy battle for which of the two companies, linked by strong controlling family ties, would come out on top of a new group aiming to challenge Toyota to be the world’s No. 1 auto company. Porsche ended up with 10 billion euros of debt as it built up a controlling stake in VW and this cost ultimately weakened its own position. The Financial Times said VW wanted to buy Porsche’s sports car business as fast as possible and so was considering strengthening its capital base to do so. Raising fresh funds for the Porsche takeover, estimated to cost 8 billion euros, will protect VW’s credit ratings, the report said.
UK to step up scrutiny
Up to 2,000 traders and managers could face extra checks and interviews by Britain’s financial watchdog to assess if they are fit for their jobs following the financial crisis, the Financial Times (FT) said yesterday. Traders, bankers and managers with significant influence in their companies are set to face the tests, the daily said. They include senior professionals at the largest 40 to 50 banks, insurers and other institutions supervised by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), the FT said, citing unnamed sources. The FSA was expected to announce yesterday that institutions would have up to six months to identify senior officials who carry out roles that might expose their company to significant risk, or who exert significant influence.
Net outflows drop: Aberdeen
British fund manager Aberdeen Asset Management said yesterday net outflows of client money slowed in the third quarter, signaling a “strong” pipeline of new business. Redemptions from funds totalled £2.2 billion (US$3.64 billion) at the end of June after hitting £4.23 billion at the end of March “We have a strong new business pipeline in equities, fixed income and property,” chief executive Martin Gilbert said. Assets under management at the end of the quarter grew to £129.2 billion from £96.3 billion at end-March, boosted by the acquisition of £35.3 billion in assets through the purchase of Credit Suisse’s UK business. Market gains added another £9 billion to assets in the quarter. The fixed income business saw outflows slow sharply during the quarter to a net £2.71 billion, against outflows of £4.23 billion in the previous quarter, helped by outperformance in the company’s funds.
Virgin Blue to raise capital
Australian budget airline Virgin Blue yesterday announced plans to raise A$231.4 million (US$190 million) in capital as it predicted record losses following the toughest 12 months in its history. The discount carrier also said chief executive Brett Godfrey would step down next year, a decade after launching Australia’s second-largest airline. Godfrey said the fund-raising would improve the airline’s liquidity and financial flexibility, giving it the ability to move into new routes and buy more aircraft when conditions improve. He said in the volatile aviation market the move was “prudent” for Virgin Blue, which is expected to post net losses of between A$160 million and A$165 million in the year to June, a sharp turnaround from last year’s A$98 million profit.
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,
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.
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