World Business Quick Take – Taipei Times
Pork prices for support
The National Development and Reform Commission said yesterday that central and local governments will start buying pork for state reserves to support prices which have plunged in recent months. Prices entered an “excessive drop” last week, the agency said in a WeChat notice, without providing details on what volumes to buy. The move comes after live pork prices at the world’s largest pork producer plunged 65% from January earlier this month, eroding farmers’ profits and raising fears that many would stop breeding, triggering shortages later.
Increase in value added tax
The government plans to increase its value added tax (VAT) rate from 10% to 12% and start imposing tax on certain essential goods and services as part of a broader tax review. The 12% VAT would be a general tariff covering most goods and services, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on Monday as parliament began deliberating on the proposal. VAT would also be extended beyond the existing single tariff structure so that certain items could be subject to a rate of 5 to 25 percent – for example, depending on the price of the products.
Burberry CEO resigns
British luxury fashion house Burberry Group PLC announced yesterday that its CEO, Marco Gobbetti, will leave the group at the end of the year and return to Italy. It comes a month after the pandemic-hit group announced a strong recovery in sales. “The board and I are understandably disappointed with Marco’s decision, but we fully understand and respect his desire to return to Italy after nearly 20 years abroad,” Chairman Gerry Murphy said in a statement. Gobbetti is due to leave after nearly five years in the role. “With Burberry re-energized and firmly on track for strong growth, I think the time has come for me to step down,” Gobbetti added in the statement.
UK and Singapore lift barriers
The government has started negotiations with Singapore on removing barriers to digital trade, seeking to go further than the renewed free trade deal they struck when Britain left the EU. The two sides want to facilitate business trade using technologies such as electronic contracts and electronic signatures, the International Trade Ministry said in a statement. Singapore is the kingdom’s 21st trading partner in the world, accounting for 1.2% of the kingdom’s total trade. “Our ambition is to make the UK a global hub for services and digital trade,” said Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss.
Kakao Bank is considering IPO
Kakao Bank, the internet lender only backed by South Korean company Kakao Corp, plans to raise up to US $ 2.3 billion in an initial public offering (IPO). The bank is selling 65.45 million new shares for between 33,000 won and 39,000 won (292 and 35 US dollars) each, a company filing said yesterday. At the top of the range, the company is said to raise 2.550 billion won and have a market cap of over $ 16 billion, based on total shares outstanding after its debut. The listing could make Kakao Bank South Korea’s third most valuable lender, after KB Financial Group Inc and Shinhan Financial Group Co.
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