US rejects China’s claims over StraitALARM GROWS: US officials are concerned that China’s claim that the Taiwan Strait is an internal waterway is a deliberate effort to muddy the legal status of Taiwan US President Joe Biden’s administration has decided to reject a vague new assertion by China that the Taiwan Strait is not “international waters” and is increasingly concerned the stance could result in more frequent challenges at sea for Taiwan, people familiar with the matter said. Chinese officials have made such remarks repeatedly in meetings with US counterparts over the past few months. In the past, while China regularly protested US military moves in the Taiwan Strait, the legal status of the waters was not a regular talking point in meetings with US officials. The timing of the assertion is causing alarm within the
June 21, 2022 17:29 UTC
Vedanta decides to sell troubled copper smelterReuters, NEW DELHIIndia’s oil-to-metals conglomerate Vedanta Ltd yesterday offered to sell a copper smelter complex in southern Tamil Nadu state that was closed four years ago after police opened fire during protests, which culminated in 13 deaths. Local officials seal the entrance to a copper smelter controlled by London-listed Vedanta Ltd in Thoothukudi, India, on May 18, 2018. The company, controlled by billionaire Anil Agarwal, said in March last year that it was looking for a state government partner to set up a new, 100 billion rupees (US$1.28 billion) copper smelter. The proposed 500,000 tonnes per annum copper smelter could employ as many as 10,000 people, Vedanta said, adding that it was looking for a 405 hectares site close to a port. Shares of Vedanta fell as much as 10 percent in early trading yesterday to 237.6 rupees, the lowest in more than a year.
June 21, 2022 02:57 UTC
High inflation locked in: Yellen‘GLOBAL, NOT LOCAL’: Stubborn inflation is the result of issues such as supply disruptions from the war in Ukraine and China’s COVID-19 lockdowns, Yellen saidBloomberg“Unacceptably high” prices are likely to stick with consumers through the rest of the year and the US economy is likely to slow down, US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen said on Sunday. “We’ve had high inflation so far this year, and that locks in higher inflation for the rest of the year,” she said on American Broadcasting Co’s This Week. Photo: AFPUS inflation last month accelerated to 8.6 percent, a fresh 40-year high that signals price pressures are becoming entrenched in the economy. Yellen said a gasoline tax holiday is “worth considering” if it could help consumers weather inflation. Excess savings and consumer balance sheets would help mitigate the speed of economic contraction, but monetary and fiscal policy would be constrained by high inflation, they said.
June 21, 2022 01:23 UTC
Ministry mulls installing solar panels on army basesBy Wu Su-wei and Liu Tzu-hsuan / Staff reporter, with staff writerArmy bases are being surveyed for sites where companies could install solar panels, the Ministry of National Defense said, expressing its aim to comply with the government’s sustainable energy policies. The ministry said in a report to the Legislative Yuan that it seeks to improve the energy security of important facilities on army bases by promoting energy diversification and self-sufficiency. In peacetime, army bases use electricity provided by Taiwan Power, but they switch to generators and uninterruptible power systems during power outages, the ministry said. A solar array is pictured on the roof of a building in Tainan’s Sinying District in an undated photograph. The Regulations Governing Power Rationing During Power Shortage Periods (電源不足時期限制用電辦法) give troops priority for electricity during wartime, it said.
June 20, 2022 03:38 UTC
State-run banks hike ratesStaff writer, with CNASeveral major lenders are to raise interest rates for depositors today, after the central bank increased its benchmark rediscount rate from 1.375 percent to 1.5 percent on Thursday. After major lenders raise their time deposit rates by 12.5 basis points, depositors who own NT$1 million (US$33,647) in time deposit accounts are to receive an additional NT$3,750 in interest annually. The bank is also to raise its two-year time savings deposit floating rate by 0.125 percentage points to 1.25 percent, while its three-year time savings deposit floating rate is to rise 13 basis points, higher than the central bank’s hike, to 1.285 percent, it said. State-run Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合庫銀行) is to increase its floating rates for one-year to three-year time savings deposits and the fixed rates for its one-year to three-year time savings deposits by 0.125 percentage points. While deposit rates are to rise in line with the central bank’s rate hikes, market observers said the banking sector would raise mortgage rates by more than 12.5 basis points soon to have a higher interest spread, which is expected to improve banks’ profitability.
June 19, 2022 22:30 UTC
Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying wins Indonesia Open titleStaff writer, with CNATaiwanese badminton star Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎) yesterday clinched the women’s singles title at the Badminton World Federation’s Indonesia Open in Jakarta with a win against China’s Wang Zhiyi (王祉怡). The win gave Tai her third Indonesia Open title and her second of the season, after the Thailand Open last month. Tai Tzu-ying celebrates beating China’s Wang Zhiyi in their Indonesia Open women’s singles final in Jakarta yesterday. Taiwan`s Tai Tzu-ying poses during the victory ceremony after winning the women`s singles event at the Indonesia Open badminton tournament in Jakarta on June 19, 2022. The purse at the Super 1000 Indonesia Open totaled US$1.2 million.
June 19, 2022 22:30 UTC
Asian stocks follow Wall St lower on economy fearsAP, BEIJINGAsian stock markets on Friday followed Wall Street lower on fears that global economic activity would be depressed by interest rate hikes to cool inflation. In Taiwan, the TAIEX closed 1.25 percent lower at 15,641.26. However, turnover was up compared with recent sessions at NT$307.877 billion (US$10.36 billion), after staying between NT$190 billion and NT$230 billion for much of the month. For the week, the TAIEX lost 818 points, or 4.97 percent. It had closed lower for seven consecutive sessions.
June 18, 2022 19:01 UTC
Yen tanks as Bank of Japan sticks to stimulus strategyReuters, NEW YORKThe Japanese yen fell against the US dollar on Friday, after the Bank of Japan bucked a wave of tightening and stuck with its ultra-accommodative stance, adding to soaring volatility in a currency markets hit by a series of rate hikes this week. The Bank of Japan (BOJ) went against the current on Friday, keeping all of its policy settings unchanged and vowing to defend its bond yield cap of 0.25 percent with unlimited buying. Japanese yen and US dollar banknotes are displayed on Wednesday. Photo: ReutersThe BOJ’s move knocked the yen, which on Wednesday hit a 24-year low of ￥135.6 per US dollar, broadly lower. The Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) surprise decision to raise rates by 0.5 percent continued to reverberate through markets.
June 18, 2022 19:01 UTC
Analysts see rate hikes dampening sales of propertyBy Crystal Hsu / Staff reporterThe central bank’s second interest rate hike would further slow this year’s property transactions, which have plunged by double percentage points in the first five months amid rising economic uncertainty, property analysts said yesterday. Historical data show interest rate hikes and credit controls are effective in dampening purchasing interest, explaining why buyers these days hesitate to make offers, the broker said. The rate hike, while mild and widely expected, would fuel property revaluation and raise investment hurdles, while sellers refuse to budge, making it difficult to close deals, Colliers Taiwan said. CBRE Taiwan (世邦魏理仕), another property broker, shared similar observations, saying that land deals this year would remain above long-term averages, albeit lagging behind the level seen last year. Evertrust Rehouse Co (永慶房屋) said people would feel the pinch when cumulative interest rate hikes reach 0.75 percentage points, from 0.375 percentage points at present.
June 18, 2022 02:59 UTC
Mega Financial union demands change of chairmanCOMPLIANCE: Overly strict money laundering measures under Michael Chang’s leadership have driven away clients and affected employees’ interests, the union saidBy Crystal Hsu / Staff reporterMega Financial Holding Co’s (兆豐金控) workers’ union yesterday called on the government to replace the company’s chairman, Michael Chang (張兆順), with a candidate who could boost the group’s earnings ability and employee morale. Mega Financial Holding Co workers protest against the company’s management team at the annual shareholders’ meeting in Taipei yesterday. Photo: Lee Chin-hui, Taipei TimesThe union added that it had conveyed its wishes to the Ministry of Finance, which has a decisive say on who may steer the bank-focused conglomerate given its dominant stake in Mega Financial. Chang took over the helm of Mega Financial after his predecessor stepped down to take responsibility for more than US$200 million in fines from US financial regulators for anti-money laundering compliance failures at its US banking branches in 2016 and 2018. The shareholders’ meeting approved a proposal to distribute cash dividends of NT$1.65 per share from last year’s earnings.
June 18, 2022 02:59 UTC
Musk offers few details in call with Twitter employeesReutersElon Musk on Thursday addressed Twitter employees for the first time, expressing his view that Twitter would need to cut its headcount, but offering few other new details about his US$44 billion planned takeover of the social media company. “I think advertising is very important for Twitter,” Musk said. I would probably talk to the advertisers and say, like: ‘Hey, let’s just make sure the ads are as entertaining as possible.’”Musk, who was expected to provide assurance to Twitter employees during his first meeting, did not offer an update on the deal closing. They also demanded on Slack that the moderator press Musk on his views about remote work, as Twitter currently allows employees relatively free rein to work remotely or in the office. Musk said he believed Twitter staff should lean toward working in an office, but expressed willingness to make some exceptions.
June 17, 2022 20:30 UTC
Taiwan shows off latest homemade armored vehicleBy Ben Blanchard / Reuters, Jiji Township, TaiwanThe military yesterday showed off its latest domestically produced armored vehicle, the CM-34 Clouded Leopard, at a remote manufacturing site in the nation’s central mountains. Those fears have become more pronounced over the past few years as Beijing has stepped up military activities near Taiwan. Staff members work on the production line of the military’s latest armored vehicle — the CM-34 Clouded Leopard — in Jiji Township, Nantou County, yesterday. The vehicle is named after Taiwan’s clouded leopard. A locally produced CM-34 Clouded Leopard armored vehicle is driven through its paces at a testing ground on a military base in Nantou County yesterday.
June 17, 2022 03:58 UTC
Ministry blasts Putin’s remarks about TaiwanBy Yang Cheng-yu and Liu Tzu-hsuan / Staff reporter, with staff writerThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin for disparaging Taiwan’s sovereignty by saying that Taiwan issues are “China’s internal affairs.”The ministry strongly condemned Putin’s “false” remarks that “undermined the sovereignty of the Republic of China,” ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a news briefing. Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Joanne Ou speaks at a news briefing in Taipei yesterday. Screengrab from the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s virtual news conferenceOu said that Taiwanese elect their government in free and fair elections, adding that only the government in Taipei can represent Taiwan. The ministry also thanked the US for reiterating that it would ensure that Taiwan has the ability to defend itself and deter aggression. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the remarks in an interview with the US’ Public Broadcasting Service on Tuesday.
June 16, 2022 22:00 UTC
TAIEX shares close lower in wake of Fed rate hikeSOUND FUNDAMENTALS: TSMC shares’ earlier gains yesterday were wiped out, but it still closed above its previous day’s level, after rising 0.4 percent to NT$508Staff writer, with CNAThe TAIEX yesterday closed below 16,000 points after eroding earlier gains, as many investors rushed to sell following an initial upturn, dealers said. The TAIEX closed down 160.64 points, or 1 percent, at 15,838.61. “The 75 basis-point rate increase by the Fed had been priced in after the global markets. “Although the rate hike decision removed market uncertainty for now, concerns are growing that higher borrowing costs will hurt the economy, as the Fed is expected to continue its rate hike cycle down the road,” Lu said. Old economy stocks were also affected by a retreat from their earlier gains, with the transportation sector falling 4.8 percent in the wake of a US government initiative to rein in fast-growing ocean cargo shipping rates, dealers said.
June 16, 2022 22:00 UTC
The unpredictable effects of COVID-19 and unstable supply chains have increased uncertainty worldwide regarding consumer demand and the shipping of products, Pegatron said in its annual report. “Pegatron will continue monitoring the supply of key components and working closely with its suppliers to optimize capacity allocations,” the company said. Pegatron’s board of directors last month approved a plan to invest an additional US$50.61 million to expand its manufacturing hub in North America, the company said in a regulatory filing. Pegatron said it had already planned to invest US$164 million on production lines in North America so that it could accommodate an increase in orders in the region. Last quarter, communication products were the biggest revenue contributor, accounting for 60 percent of total revenue, the company said.
June 16, 2022 03:25 UTC