BASF to invest in Asia
The German chemical giant BASF said yesterday it would invest 2 billion euros (US$2.9 billion) by 2013 in the Asia-Pacific region to double its sales there by 2020. The group also said it would hire at least 5,000 new staff, bringing its total in the area to around 20,000, and generate 70 percent of its sales from local production. “The current economic situation does not change our positive expectations of the long-term potential of these dynamic markets,” a statement quoted BASF regional director Martin Brudermueller as saying.
Toshiba plans relocations
Toshiba Corp, Japan’s biggest memory chipmaker, plans to relocate as many as 700 engineers by next month to help cut semiconductor research spending. The measure is part of the company’s plan to cut development costs and help the chip operations return to profit in the current fiscal year. Toshiba said last month it aimed to cut research spending to ¥1 trillion (US$11 billion) over the three years to March 2012, from ¥1.17 trillion the previous three year period.
UBS keeping Paine Webber
UBS AG’s US wealth management unit Paine Webber is not a core part of the bank’s operations, but will not be sold at present, UBS chief executive Oswald Gruebel was quoted as saying in the Financial Times (FT). “We’ve had a lot of inquiries from potential buyers but it wouldn’t make sense to sell at current valuations,” Gruebel said, according to a report in yesterday’s FT. Gruebel also told the FT the bank wanted to cut ties with the Swiss government by buying its way out of a “bad bank” deal and aimed to return to health within a year.
BNP Paribas raising funds
BNP Paribas SA, France’s largest bank, said it would raise 4.3 billion euros (US$6.3 billion) in a rights offer to help repay government funds. BNP Paribas is offering existing investors 107.6 million shares at 40 euros each, or 29 percent below Monday’s closing price, the Paris-based bank said yesterday. The company will repay 5.1 billion euros it received from the French state as well as 226 million euros of interest, it said. After paying back the government, BNP Paribas’ tier-one capital ratio, an indicator of financial strength, will be above 9 percent, the company said.
British GDP contracts
The British economy contracted 0.6 percent in the second quarter compared with output in the first three months of the year, an improvement on the previous estimate of minus 0.7 percent, official data showed yesterday. GDP shrank 5.5 percent between April and June in recession-hit Britain, compared with activity in the second quarter of last year, unchanged from the previous estimate made last month, the Office for National Statistics said.
Russia cuts benchmark rate
Russia will cut its main refinancing rate by half a point to 10.0 percent, the country’s Central Bank said yesterday, in its latest bid to stimulate the country’s economy. The bank’s directors “decided to lower the Central Bank’s refinancing rate by 0.5 points to 10 percent, starting on Sept. 30,” the bank said in a statement. The decision was motivated by “the need for additional stimulation of economic activity,” it added.
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
ON THEIR OWN: The KMT has decided not to participate as a party at this year’s forum, and if any members do go, they would not be representing the party, Alicia Wang said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would not send a delegation “as a political party” to this year’s Straits Forum, after a Chinese TV program described the planned visit to the annual meeting as “suing for peace.” The 12th forum is scheduled to open in Xiamen, China, on Saturday. On Tuesday last week, the KMT announced that former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would lead the party’s delegation to the forum, with KMT Secretary-General Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) as deputy head. However, on Thursday last week, China Central Television’s (CCTV) Yangshipin (央視頻) program, hosted by Li Hong (李紅), included a headline
RIVERSIDE CAMP: As rescuers continued their search for a missing man, Taipower said that the floodgates at a hydro plant on the Lishi Creek opened due to a malfunction Three people have been confirmed dead and one was missing after being swept away by a flash flood while camping in Nantou County’s Renai Township (仁愛), police said yesterday. Six people from two families were camping near Lishi Creek (栗栖溪) when the riverbanks were suddenly flooded just after 4am, carrying away four of the campers — including two children — who were asleep in their tents, police said. A man who was among those swept away was able to climb ashore and call for help, police said, adding that another man had gone missing in the turmoil at the campsite.
WORKING OVERTIME? NTU professor Lee Duu-jong denied that he had held a part-time position at a Chinese university or joined China’s Thousand Talents Program A candidate for the post of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) president yesterday dropped out of the race following a report questioning his links to Chinese academia and government programs. Lee Duu-jong (李篤中), a professor at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) chemical engineering department, was a member of China’s Changjiang Scholars’ Program in 2006 and was on the list of its Thousand Talents Program in 2017, a report by Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine said yesterday. The article said that Lee is suspected of having held a part-time job at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and was the recipient