TNK-BP sees end to dispute
The head of British-Russian oil giant TNK-BP yesterday said a dispute within the company seen as a test of Russia’s investment climate would be resolved soon. “I am sure the dispute will be resolved within days,” Robert Dudley was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying on the sidelines of an economic forum in Saint Petersburg. TNK-BP is Russia’s third-largest oil producer and is jointly held by British oil major BP and three Russian billionaires, who have called for Dudley to step down, accusing him of working solely in BP’s interests. Dudley was also summoned this week by Russian authorities in a tax investigation.
Toyota plans more hybrids
Toyota Motor Corp plans to produce hybrid cars in Australia and Thailand as demand for fuel-efficient vehicles surges along with oil prices, Japan’s top business daily said yesterday. Toyota, the world’s second-biggest automaker by annual vehicle sales, will roll out the hybrid version of the popular Camry sedan in Thailand at the end of next year and in Australia as early as 2010, the Nihon Keizai newspaper said. Officials at Toyota could not be reached for comment. Toyota is hoping to sell 1 million hybrids a year sometime after 2010.
Credit card borrowing slows
Americans relied a lot less on their credit cards in April with debt in that area rising at the slowest pace in nearly three years. The Federal Reserve said on Friday that consumer borrowing increased at an annual rate of 4.2 percent in April, slower than the 6.2 percent increase of March. The slowdown reflected the fact that borrowing in the category that includes credit cards rose at an annual rate of just 0.4 percent, the weakest performance since borrowing in this area actually declined at a 1.8 percent rate in May 2005.
Firms take state to court
General Motors Corp and other automakers said California was trying to enforce carbon-reduction rules not yet approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and asked a judge for an order blocking the regulations. Without an injunction, automakers will have to spend billions of dollars by the end of this year, said the filing to the federal court in Fresno, California. The companies are seeking a court order that would prevent California from requiring companies to take any steps toward compliance before 2017. In December the EPA blocked California’s efforts to require cuts in greenhouse gas exhaust starting with next year’s models, saying a nationwide regulation was needed. It was the first time the EPA rejected a California pollution program.
Farmers to end strike
Argentine farm leaders said they would end their latest strike against a new export tax plan tomorrow in order to enter talks with the government and calm fears of food shortages. Argentina’s four biggest farming groups said on Friday that they were willing to enter talks aimed at ending the dispute, which started when the taxes were introduced on March 11. Farmers will remain “on alert” along roadsides as talks begin, said an e-mailed statement drafted after an eight-hour meeting in Buenos Aires. Blockades by truck drivers, who are protesting the farmers’ actions, have raised the threat of food shortages in the South American country for the second time since March.
Luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental Taipei (文華東方酒店) plans to reopen its guestrooms in December to take advantage of a boom in domestic travel. The reopening would come six months after the five-star facility suspended room operations to cut costs as countries across the region impose border controls to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, diminishing demand for business travel. “We are delighted to share that Mandarin Oriental Taipei will resume room operations on December 1,” the hotel said in a statement yesterday. The hotel in Songshan District (松山) said it would adopt stringent health and safety practices to ensure the well-being of its guests and employees. It
HSBC Bank (Taiwan) Ltd (匯豐台灣商銀) has approved two sustainability-linked loans totaling NT$450 million (US$15.55 million) for Taya Group (大亞集團) and Sinbon Electronics Co (信邦電子), the bank said yesterday, adding that interest rates would fall if the borrowers’ sustainability performance improves. Those marked the first sustainability-linked loans granted by HSBC Taiwan, it said. While HSBC Taiwan has experience providing green loans for the nation’s developers of renewable energy sources to support their projects, the bank began focusing on sustainability-linked loans to meet rising demand from companies in other sectors planning to undertake sustainability programs, it said. “As we reward our clients who reach their
FRONTRUNNER: While the company’s global parent has pledged to lower emissions to 2 tonnes per employee, the local subsidiary has curbed its output to 1.8 tonnes HSBC Bank Taiwan Ltd (?豐台灣商銀) is committed to enhancing corporate social responsibility by cutting carbon emissions, boosting sustainable financing and conducting projects that result in positive social impacts such as wild bird protection, the bank said in an interview in Taipei on Friday. The bank aims to reduce its carbon emissions as its parent company, HSBC Holdings PLC, earlier this month said it targets to reduce emissions in its daily operations and supply chains to net zero by 2030, as well as net zero emissions of its portfolio of customers by 2050, it said. HSBC Taiwan has adopted measures to make its
‘NEW TRAVEL MARKET’: The carrier initially planned to lay off about 8,000 people globally, but after government intervention reduced that to 18 percent of its workforce Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (國泰航空) would cut 6,000 jobs and close its Cathay Dragon brand, the South China Morning Post reported, as part of a strategic review to combat the unprecedented damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hong Kong-based airline is expected to officially announce the plan after the market close today, the newspaper said. It initially planned about 8,000 layoffs globally, but after government intervention reduced that to 18 percent of its total workforce, including about 5,000 jobs in Hong Kong, it said. The company, which posted a HK$9.9 billion (US$1.3 billion) loss in the first half, has for months