Daimler reaffirms forecast
Germany’s Daimler AG has reaffirmed its revenue forecast for this year and says it expects increases in sales and revenue. Chief executive Dieter Zetsche told shareholders at its annual meeting yesterday that Daimler plans to grow sales at about double the rate of the global car market this year. The company reaffirmed the outlook delivered in February. It said it expects unit sales and revenue to increase “but that they will still be significantly lower than the good levels of 2008.” Daimler forecast earnings before interest and tax from ongoing business operations of 2.3 billion euros (US$3.1 billion).
Macquarie buying aircraft
Australian investment bank Macquarie Group Ltd said yesterday it is buying 53 aircraft from a unit of American International Group Inc, which is raising money to repay US government bailout funds. Macquarie said 47 aircraft from International Lease Finance Corp will go to Macquarie Bank Ltd and six to a partly owned subsidiary, Macquarie AirFinance Ltd. The total price is just under US$2 billion. Macquarie said the aircraft are being leased to 35 airlines in 27 countries. Most aircraft are Boeing 737 Next Generation or Airbus A320 Family aircraft.
PRC price growth speeds up
Chinese property prices rose at the fastest pace in nearly five years last month, official data showed yesterday, amid growing fears of a bubble developing in the real estate market. Prices in 70 major cities rose 11.7 percent year-on-year in March, the National Bureau of Statistics said on its website, marking the biggest on-year increase for a single month since the survey was widened in July 2005. The statistics bureau had previously collected data on 35 major cities. That topped the 10.7 percent increase in residential and commercial property prices recorded in February and the 9.5 percent jump in January.
Korean Air profit up 33-fold
South Korean flag carrier Korean Air yesterday announced its operating profit rose more than 33-fold in the first quarter from a year earlier on increased demand. Operating profit for the three months ended March 31 soared to 220.2 billion won (US$197 million) from 6.6 billion won a year earlier as a strong won and economic recovery boosted outbound travel and cargo shipments. Net profit for the same period was not immediately available. Sales rose 15 percent to 2.599 trillion from 2.264 trillion a year earlier. “Increased travel to China and Southeast Asia and exports by IT companies pushed up the quarterly results,” Korean Air said.
Starbucks plans expansion
Global coffee chain Starbucks plans a major expansion in China by opening “thousands of stores” while eyeing the promising Indian and Vietnamese markets, reports said yesterday. Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz told the Wall Street Journal that China will overtake Japan as its biggest market outside North America. “Asia clearly represents the most significant growth opportunity,” he told the US newspaper during a visit to Tokyo. “Over time there will be thousands of stores in China,” he said. “India and Vietnam are two markets we’d like to get to at some point. We are still at the embryonic stages of what Asia will be for the company.”
Malaysian authorities have advised women to wear makeup, not to nag their husbands and speak with a cartoon character’s soothing voice during the virus lockdown, sparking a flood of mockery online. Like many countries, Malaysia has ordered all citizens to stay at home to stem the spread of COVID-19, which, as of yesterday, had killed at least 39,070 people globally. In a series of online posters with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19, the Malaysian Ministry of Women and Family Development issued advice on how to avoid domestic conflicts during the partial lockdown, which began on March 18. One of the campaign posters depicted
Taiwan will negotiate with the WHO about its participation without Beijing’s help and intervention as more countries, including Australia and Japan, are partnering with Taiwan to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephonic roundtable with reporters on Monday also supported Taiwan’s role in the WHO, saying the US Department of State would do its best to assist Taiwan’s “appropriate role” in the world’s highest health policy setting body, Voice of America reported. In a Japan Business Press report published on Sunday, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou (孔鉉佑) said
KEEP AWAY: People should wear a mask in places where they cannot follow social distancing rules, the CECC said, adding that it would publish detailed guidelines today The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 16 new cases of COVID-19, including two domestic cases, as it urged people to practice social distancing in public spaces by keeping a distance of at least 1m when outdoors and 1.5m indoors. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that seven of the new cases tested positive upon their arrival at the airport, four were under home quarantine, one was under home isolation and two were under self-health management, while the two domestic cases sought treatment on their own. The domestic cases are a man in his
HELPING HAND: Taiwan is ready to help other nations and will not sit idly by while the global fight against the coronavirus continues, President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan, as a responsible member of the international community, is to offer humanitarian assistance to nations hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic by sending them masks and medicine, as well as sharing with them an electronic system that the government has been using to track down people that need to be quarantined, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. With the nation’s daily production having reached 13 million masks and soon to reach 15 million, the government is to donate 10 million masks to medical personnel in nations most severely affected by the coronavirus, Tsai said at the Presidential Office in Taipei. The