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Weekly News Roundup: InBev Prepares for 2019’s Biggest IPO

WWII dispute hitting Japanese tech to South Korea

Amid a growing dispute stretching back to World War II, Japan will restrict exports of high-tech materials used in smartphone displays and chips to South Korea over the latter’s forced work for Japanese firms during the war. Tighter export controls would slow the export process by several months, hitting tech giants such as Samsung, SK Hynix, and LG Display.

A top court ruling in October 2018 ordered Nippon Steel to compensate former forced laborers, and Tokyo is growing frustrated over Seoul’s lack of action from the legal matter. South Korea’s finance minister called a meeting to discuss plans for reacting to Japan’s next move in the dispute.

Budweiser’s Asia unit ready for 2019’s biggest IPO

Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Asia-Pacific unit is attempting to raise as much as US$9.8 billion in what could be the largest-ever listing for a food or beverage company. The initial public offering plans to make it debuts on July 19, and the listing will help parent AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, reduce debt and allow the unit to make acquisitions in the region.

As the world’s largest food and beverage IPO, it would beat Kraft Food’s Inc.’s US$8.6 billion debut in 2001, and will beat this year’s Uber Technologies Inc.’s US$8.1 billion. The massive IPO comes as trade tensions between the United States and China continue.

Taiwanese airline grounds more flights over strikes

Eva Airways cancelled 550 more flights through mid-July as a cabin crew strike dragged on to two weeks after the latest negotiations on work conditions and wages recently broke down. Flight attendants first went on strike on June 20 after a month-long conversation between management and workers broke no new ground.

The strike has since disrupted over 2,000 flights and affected more than 400,000 passengers. It represents the longest strike in Taiwan’s aviation history, and has led to an estimated revenue loss of around US$56 million. As of right now, there is no indication of any resolution to the dispute.

Warehouse recruiters using digital tools to find workers

Logistics companies are casting a “virtual net,” employing a technique called geofencing to target people as they search for workers in a tightening US job market. This method allows users to tap into consumers’ digital footprints that they leave with their smartphones by sending them job opening announcements via ads, texts, or push notifications.

The push to hire new workers comes as the labor market for warehousing and storage positions has near doubled in the past decade, reaching 1.19 million in May. Supply-chain operator Geodis SA uses geofencing to target potential workers in Atlanta, Dallas, central Pennsylvania, Indianapolis, and Nashville, focusing on people who live within 20 to 50 miles of its facilities.

India raising import tariffs and taxes on the wealthy to spur growth

India raised import tariffs on almost 75 items, including gold and auto parts in its budget, and increased taxes on the rich to help pay for recapitalizing banks and supporting small businesses in an effort to revive slowing growth.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government also proposed giving foreign investors a larger role in the country’s giant insurance and aviation sectors, which have been tightly dominated for decades. Modi, fresh off an election victory, set a target of growing India into a US$5 trillion economy by the middle of the next decade.

About the Author

Scott Sharon is a freelance writer who has contributed to Conducive Chronicle and World Policy Journal.

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