The valuations of the nation’s securities brokerages have slumped as the TAIEX approaches the one-year anniversary of it moving above 10,000 points. The price-to-book ratios of local brokerages have fallen to about 0.7, the lowest level in recent years, data compiled by the Taiwan Stock Exchange showed. Despite significantly higher daily turnover of more than NT$100 billion (US$3.36 billion) during 10 out of the past 12 quarters, investors have been lukewarm on higher fee income resulting from higher trading volume.
CHT mulling Internet bank
Chunghwa Telecom Co (CHT, 中華電信) chairman David Cheng (鄭優) yesterday confirmed that the company is exploring plans to open an Internet-only bank by partnering with local state-run lenders. The telecom has been in talks with Bank of Taiwan (臺灣銀行) and Mega International Commercial Bank (兆豐銀行), Cheng said, adding that a plan would begin to take shape in the next month or two. CHT has a sizeable pool of subscribers and it could leverage that advantage to transform a phone number into a virtual bank account that could be used for daily transactions, industry observers said. The Financial Supervisory Commission last month said that it would begin accepting license applications for two Internet-only banks and that it has been in talks with Japan’s Line Corp and Rakuten Inc.
GSMA-certified lab planned
Asia Pacific Telecom Co (亞太電信) yesterday announced plans to build the nation’s first GSMA-certified laboratory to speed up the development of the nation’s Internet of Things (IoT) industry. The laboratory would be the 36th globally and support the development of narrow-band IoT as well as LTE-M standards, which aims to enable a wide range of devices and services to be connected using cellular telecommunication bands while maintaining energy efficiency. The telecom would invite module and end device makers to take advantage of its laboratory, it said.
CTCI wins terminal bid
CTCI Corp (中鼎工程), a leading engineering services provider, has won a tender for a US$240 million liquefied natural gas terminal project in India for conglomerate Adani Group. Adani Group yesterday confirmed that CTCI won the bid and on April 24 signed an agreement with Adani Energy, a unit of the Indian conglomerate. It is the largest contract secured by a Taiwanese company in the 18 nations targeted by the government’s New Southbound Policy since it was launched in May 2016. The terminal is to be built at Dhamra Port in Odisha state and it is to have an annual capacity of 5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas, Adani Group said. The firm did not disclose any other details of the tender, such as when construction is expected to start.
Payment system deployed
Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank (台北富邦銀行) on Sunday announced that it has deployed a blockchain-based payment system for restaurants and merchants near National Chengchi University after development began in March last year. The payment system utilizes the Istanbul Byzantine Fault Tolerance algorithm, which cuts the transaction time to less than 1 second, making it suitable for wider adoption, the bank said, adding that businesses benefit from improved bookkeeping by using blockchain-based payment systems.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) founder Jack Ma (馬雲) has been living in Tokyo for almost six months after disappearing from public view following China’s crackdown on the tech sector, the Financial Times reported yesterday, citing multiple unnamed sources. The billionaire has kept a low profile since the crackdown, which has included Chinese regulators scrapping the initial public offering of Ma’s Ant Group Co (螞蟻集團) and issuing Alibaba with record fines. However, the Times said he has spent much of the past six months with his family in Tokyo and other parts of Japan, along with visits to the US and Israel. The
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HOLIDAY SEASON OMEN: Low-cost brands and high-end retailers had the most foot traffic, leaving mid-range stores struggling on what used to be their biggest sales day US retailers discounted heavily on Black Friday to clear out bloated inventories, but customers responded with only modest traffic, leaving profitability in doubt for many chains. Brick-and-mortar retailers, which were hit hard by COVID-19 closures and shoppers seeking to avoid the virus, saw in-store traffic on Friday tick up 2.9 percent from last year’s shopping event, data compiled by Sensormatic Solutions showed. US consumers are still spending, but they are growing more cautious after contending this year with the highest inflation rates in four decades. They are also keeping a sharper lookout for deals, and retailers — many of them still heavy
‘REVOLUTION’: Elon Musk complained over a 30 percent fee Apple collects on Apple Store transactions and said the technology company has stopped advertising on Twitter Twitter Inc owner Elon Musk on Monday opened fire against Apple Inc over its tight control of what is allowed on the App Store, saying the iPhone maker has threatened to oust his recently acquired social media platform. Musk also joined the chorus crying foul over a 30 percent fee Apple collects on transactions via its App Store — the sole gateway for applications to get onto its billion-plus mobile devices. A series of Twitter posts fired off by Musk included a meme of a car with his first name on it veering onto a highway off-ramp labeled “Go to War,” instead