Hackers steal US$60m
Hackers stole US$60 million of digital coins from a Japanese exchange, the latest in a string of thefts that have kept many institutional investors wary of putting their money into cryptocurrencies. The theft of bitcoin, monacoin and bitcoin cash from Zaif, an exchange owned by Osaka-based Tech Bureau Corp, occurred last week and was disclosed yesterday by Tech Bureau in a statement. About ￥2.2 billion (US$19.6 million) of stolen coins belonged to the exchange and the rest was client money. Withdrawals and deposits were halted as Zaif rebuilds its system, with the exchange unable to say when they would resume.
PlayStation Classic coming
Sony Corp is rolling out a mini version of its original PlayStation game console, seeking to tap in to the retro craze and nostalgia of gamers who grew up with the iconic device. The new PlayStation Classic is to retail for US$99, while original consoles are on sale on EBay for about US$40 to US$60. Sony’s revamp comes pre-loaded with 20 games, including classic titles like Final Fantasy VII and Tekken 3. Sony is taking a page from the playbook of Nintendo Co, its Japanese rival and a master at reviving older systems. It is Sony’s first retro console offering and comes as its PlayStation 4 continues to dominate the gaming console market. The original PlayStation made its debut in Japan in December 1994. To date, Sony has sold about 82 million PS4s, gaming site VGChartz said.
Central bank raises key rate
The central bank yesterday raised its key interest rate for the first time in seven years, as the economy recovers from years of weak oil prices and the 2008 financial crisis. Norges Bank raised its key rate by 0.25 points to 0.75 percent and said a second hike was due again soon. “The executive board’s current assessment of the outlook and balance of risks suggests that the key policy rate will most likely be increased further in the first quarter of 2019,” Norges Bank Governor Oystein Olsen said in a statement. The rate has been at a record low since March 2016, following the effects of the 2008 financial crisis and plunging oil and gas prices. However, the economy has seen solid growth, thanks primarily to budget and monetary policies and the rising oil price. GDP grew 0.6 percent in the first quarter and 0.5 percent in the second.
Danske facing massive fine
The Danish government yesterday said that Danske Bank A/S is potentially facing a fine of up to 4 billion kroner, or about US$630 million, if found guilty for its role in one of Europe’s biggest money laundering scandals. The penalty would mark a Danish record for such cases, and does not take into account potential fines that might be levied elsewhere. Bloomberg Intelligence estimates Danske might have to pay more than 1 billion euros (US$1.2 billion) in total, while a Bloomberg News survey points to about US$800 million, about the same amount that Deutsche Bank AG and ING Groep NV paid for similar misdeeds. Speculation about a fine follows a series of stunning announcements by Danske on Wednesday, including the resignation of Thomas Borgen as CEO and the admission that as much as US$234 billion flowed through its tiny Estonian unit from 2007 to 2015. Danish Financial Services Authority head Jesper Berg yesterday told Danish broadcaster TV2 that the agency would revisit a case that it had put on ice earlier this year, but is reported to have attracted the attention of US authorities.
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