Apple scales up encryption
Apple Inc on Wednesday said it was strengthening encryption on its iPhones to thwart police efforts to unlock handsets without legitimate authorization. The move by Apple, the latest in an ongoing clash with law enforcement, comes amid reports of growing use of a tool known as GrayKey that can enable police to bypass iPhone security features. The new features are not designed to frustrate law enforcement, but prevent any bypassing of encryption by good or bad actors, Apple said.
Rolls-Royce to cut UK jobs
Britain’s Rolls-Royce said it would cut 4,600 jobs primarily in the UK as part of a plan to simplify its business and save ￡400 million (US$538 million) a year by the end of 2020. The engineering company said the job cuts and overhaul of its business would cost it ￡500 million and be spread between now and the end of 2020, which would be reported as separate one-off costs, allowing it to stick to its targets for free cash flow. Rolls-Royce has 55,000 employees worldwide of which 26,000 are in Britain.
Carlsberg plans India IPO
Carlsberg A/S is planning a initial public offering (IPO) of its Indian business, people with knowledge of the matter said, as it seeks to tap India’s growing middle class’s increasing thirst for foreign beer. The Danish brewer is interviewing potential arrangers for the share sale over the next few weeks, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.
Volkswagen to accept fine
Volkswagen AG on Wednesday said that it is being fined 1 billion euros (US$1.18 billion) by German authorities in connection with the diesel emissions scandal. Volkswagen said in a statement it would accept the fine imposed by prosecutors in Braunschweig. Prosecutors concluded that Volkswagen failed to properly oversee the activity of its engine development department, resulting in about 10.7 million diesel vehicles with illegal emissions-controlling software being sold worldwide.
Swire discusses HK sale
Swire Properties Ltd is in talks to sell its stakes in two Hong Kong towers to Hengli Investments Holding Group (恆力房地產) for more than HK$14 billion (US$1.78 billion), people familiar with the matter said, adding to a spate of deals in the world’s priciest office market. Hengli is in discussion with banks on getting financing for the purchase of the buildings, known as Cityplaza Three and Cityplaza Four, the people said. Hengli is a Hong Kong-based property investment firm linked to Chen Chang Wei (陳長偉), who is listed as a director of the company, regulatory filings showed.
GDP estimate might improve
The World Bank might boost its projection for economic growth in the nation, where the pace of expansion hit a five-year high last quarter. A stable outlook and signs that companies are investing again domestically are among the positive factors for the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia, said Ulrich Zachau, the world bank’s director for Thailand and regional partnerships. The lender’s estimate is for a 4.1 percent climb in GDP this year. GDP rose 4.8 percent in January through March from a year earlier, exceeding all estimates in a Bloomberg survey.
RESTRUCTURING: Taichung and Taoyuan profited most from local firms moving back high-end manufacturing amid the US-China decoupling of trade ties, the ministry said The government’s “Invest in Taiwan” initiative might this year see NT$627.1 billion (US$21.7 billion) of investment pledges realized, with several firms raising stakes and two dropouts due to customer losses, Minister of Economic Affairs (MOEA) Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said yesterday. Wang made the statement at the monthly meeting of the Third Wednesday Club, a local trade group featuring the top 100 firms of each business sector. Since early last year, the government has launched three programs intended to help local companies grapple with US-China trade rows and the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly through moving production lines back to Taiwan. Thus far, the ministry
JOBS AT RISK? Most Cathay Dragon routes are to be operated by Cathay Pacific or a subsidiary, but it was unclear how Taiwanese workers would be affected Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (國泰航空) yesterday said it is planning new flight services for Taiwan as it announced a corporate restructuring that included the shutdown of its regional subsidiary, Cathay Dragon (國泰港龍), and could lead to job cuts in Taiwan. Cathay Pacific said the shutdown means that the one round-trip service between Taichung and Hong Kong per day and seven round-trip services between Kaohsiung and Hong Kong operated by Cathay Dragon prior to the COVID-19 pandemic would be terminated. “The parent company is planning a new schedule between Taiwan and Hong Kong,” Cathay Pacific assistant manager for corporate communications Moses Hou (侯恩錫)
OVERHEATED MARKET?: The gauge would be designed to provide more reliable information than private-sector data, and help improve policymaking, the council said The National Development Council (NDC) is considering creating a business climate index on Taiwan’s property market, allowing policymakers to better monitor market movements and intervene if necessary, NDC Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said yesterday. Kung made the remarks at a meeting of the legislature’s Economic Committee where lawmakers from across party lines voiced concerns about housing price hikes driven by capital repatriation. Kung said that the council is assessing the possibility of creating an index designed to provide more accountable and transparent information than data provided by private-sector market analysts, and could help improve policymaking. The council would compile a report on
STOCK MARKETS TAIEX closes slightly higher The TAIEX closed slightly higher yesterday as market sentiment remained cautious over the Nov. 3 US presidential election. Contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) was again the anchor stabilizing the broader market, preventing the main board from falling into negative territory at the end of the session, dealers said. The TAIEX closed up 14.88 points, or 0.12 percent, at 12,877.25, on turnover of NT$167.982 billion (US$5.81 billion). TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock on the local market, rose 0.44 percent after fluctuating between NT$451 and NT$456. The semiconductor subindex and the bellwether electronics sector