AIA submits IPO documents
AIA Group Ltd, the main Asia unit of American International Group Inc (AIG), submitted preliminary documents to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for an initial public offering (IPO), two people familiar with the filing said. The filing means that New York-based AIG may aim to hold the IPO late next month or in early November, said one of the people, who declined to be identified. AIG in July hired Mark Tucker, former chief executive officer of Prudential PLC, to lead AIA as the unit prepares for an IPO. The company turned to a share sale after London-based Prudential backed out of a deal to buy AIA for US$35.5 billion.
Chinese mull Potash bid
Chinese and other investors have approached at least one big Canadian pension manager about a bid for Canada’s Potash Corp to rival BHP Billiton’s US$39 billion hostile offer. Alberta Investment Management Corp said it was not interested, because the economics did not work. China’s state-owned chemicals giant Sinochem (中國中化) has reportedly hired HSBC to evaluate options and chatter persists that sovereign wealth funds, such as China’s US$300 billion China Investment Corp (中國投資公司), may also be seeking a bid of some kind.
Roche to cut costs, jobs
Swiss giant Roche said yesterday it was launching a cost-cutting program which could lead to job cuts. The company said in a statement that “mounting pressures to curb healthcare costs” in the US and Europe were among the reasons for the move. It added that more details on the measures and their potential impact on jobs would be announced before the end of the year. The pharmaceutical giant currently employs 80,000 people.
New low-cost airline mulled
Air France-KLM is considering setting up a “low-cost” domestic carrier to meet intense competition in the French market from budget rivals, company sources said on Thursday. The new airline, dubbed “Air France Express,” could be established next year with bases in the southern cities of Marseille, Nice and Toulouse if agreement can be reached with unions, the sources said. “Studies are underway to find some way to fight off the ‘low-cost’ airlines. Among ideas being considered, is setting up a new entity within Air France-KLM,” one of the sources said, asking not to be named.
Economy grows 1.4 percent
The economy grew 1.4 percent in the second quarter from three months earlier, slightly less than earlier predicted because of weaker construction investment, the South Korean central bank said yesterday. The Bank of Korea revised its GDP figure for the second quarter from an earlier prediction of a 1.5 percent quarter-on-quarter expansion. It said Asia’s fourth-largest economy grew 7.2 percent last quarter compared with a year earlier.
NASA launches iPad app
NASA has landed on the iPad. Nearly a year after launching a free application for the iPhone and the iPod Touch, the US space agency has created a program for the latest device from Apple. The NASA App HD for the iPad is available for free at Apple’s App Store. The NASA iPad application features live streaming video from NASA TV, launch schedules, current mission information, maps, on-demand video from NASA archives, feature stories, thousands of images and more.
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
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
‘HEROIC’: A lack of personal protective equipment has led to high infection rates among health workers in places like Spain and Italy, a nurses’ association said More equipment is needed to protect the world’s nurses working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic to save lives, the head of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) said. “They are heroic. I think there is no other way to describe what they are doing at this moment,” said Howard Catton, a British nurse who is the council’s CEO. Infection rates of 9 percent and 12 to 14 percent have been reported among health workers in Italy and Spain respectively, he said, adding that nurses have died in the two nations, as well as Iran and Indonesia. “We have no doubt
Japan’s ruling party yesterday proposed the nation’s biggest-ever stimulus package of ￥60 trillion (US$554 billion) as the COVID-19 pandemic locks the economy in a recession. The sum includes ￥20 trillion in fiscal measures with private initiatives and other elements likely making up the rest, the proposal by the Liberal Democratic Party showed. More than ￥10 trillion, or the equivalent of a 5 percentage point cut in the sales tax rate, would be handed out to the public in a combination of cash, subsidies and coupons, the plan showed. The proposal puts an initial figure on a stimulus package that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo