World Business Quick Take – Taipei Times
Economic activity is picking up
Economic activity last month almost reached pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels as companies largely ignored some renewed restrictions as supply difficulties increasingly restricted production. Activity was 1 to 1.5% lower than normal, its highest level since the start of the pandemic, according to the Banque de France’s monthly survey of 8,500 companies. While business leaders expect a similar performance for this month, the share of companies reporting supply difficulties rose for the third consecutive month to 49% last month. In construction, the measurement is stable at 60%. The auto industry has particularly suffered from a shortage of semiconductors as order books fill up.
Tesla imposes masks
Tesla Inc told workers at its Nevada battery plant that they would be required to wear a mask indoors from yesterday, regardless of vaccination status, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. Workers at the Reno, Nevada facility were previously required to wear a mask if they were not vaccinated, but could avoid the requirement if they were, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the subject. Tesla is the latest company to impose masks after the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 forced the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to turn the tide and recommend that even fully vaccinated people wear masks to inside.
Westpac sells its unit
Westpac Banking Corp has agreed to sell its life insurance business to the Australian subsidiary of Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc, TAL for A $ 900 million (US $ 660 million), as Australia’s second-largest lender continues to grow. get rid of non-core assets to focus on loans. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of next year, Westpac said in a statement yesterday. Under the agreement, Westpac will enter into an exclusive 20-year strategic alliance with TAL to provide the bank’s customers with life insurance products. “This transaction is another step in streamlining the bank while continuing to help clients with their life insurance needs,” said Jason Yetton, head of business and group strategy at Westpac, in the communicated.
Philip Morris increases his offer
Philip Morris International Inc raised its bid for Vectura Group PLC to $ 1.4 billion, two days after private equity firm Carlyle increased its bid on the British asthma drug maker, underlining the will of the manufacturer to move away from cigarettes and nicotine. The company on Sunday offered 1.65 per share for Vectura, following Carlyle’s Friday offer of 1.55. Carlyle initially agreed in May to buy Vectura, a maker of inhalers and nebulizers, before Philip Morris emerged with a competing offer.
Berkshire profit up 7%
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc on Saturday reported a 7% profit gain for the second quarter, as many companies in the conglomerate recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic. Berkshire Hathaway, based in Omaha, Nebraska, said it earned US $ 28.1 billion, or US $ 18,488 per Class A share, in the second quarter. A year earlier, Berkshire reported earnings of US $ 26.3 billion, or US $ 16,314 per Class A per share. Operating income improved to US $ 6.7 billion, or US $ 4,400 per Class A share, in the quarter.
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