Business group: China tech plan threat to foreign firms

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This picture taken on February 28, 2017 shows a Chinese employee working on an energy-saving bulb production line at a lighting factory in Suining, southwest China's Sichuan province. (AFP)
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A worker walks among electric cars in a factory in Zouping county in eastern China's Shandong province. (Chinatopix via AP, File)
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In this Feb. 28, 2017 photo, a worker tests LED lights at a factory in Suining city in southwestern China's Sichuan province. (Chinatopix via AP, File)
Updated 07 March 2017
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Business group: China tech plan threat to foreign firms

BEIJING: A European business group says China is violating its free-trade pledges by pressing foreign makers of electric cars and other goods to hand over technology under an industry development plan that is likely to shrink access to its markets.
The report released by the European Union Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday adds to mounting complaints Beijing improperly shields its fledgling developers of robotics, software and other technology from competition.
Technology is a growing flashpoint in trade tensions with Washington and Europe, which worry their competitive edge is eroding as Beijing buys or develops skills in semiconductors, renewable energy and other fields.
European companies express frustration Chinese enterprises have been permitted to acquire technology leaders such as German robot maker Kuka while most of China’s assets are off-limits to foreign buyers.


Lloyd’s of London profits quadruple on investment gains

Updated 18 September 2019

Lloyd’s of London profits quadruple on investment gains

  • Specialist insurer reports first-half pre-tax profit of $2.87 billion

LONDON: The 330-year old specialist insurance market Lloyd's of London reported a first-half pre-tax profit of 2.3 billion pounds ($2.87 billion) on Thursday, up nearly fourfold on investment gains and a cutback in underperforming business.
Lloyd's, which covers commercial risks from oil risks to footballers' legs, suffered steep losses in 2017 and 2018 due to natural catastrophes such as hurricanes, typhoons and wildfires.
Lloyd's last year told its 99 member syndicates to ditch the worst performing 10% of their businesses.
"It is encouraging that the Lloyd's market is showing increased discipline in 2019," Chief Executive John Neal said in a statement.
"We need to make some brave choices on how to meet the expectations of our customers and all our stakeholders in the future."
The market has proposed its members move to electronic exchanges next year, as it responds to competition from cheaper rivals.
Further details of the strategic changes will be released on Sept 30.
Net investment income rose to 2.3 billion pounds from 0.2 billion a year earlier, helped by strong equity returns.
Gross written premiums rose 1.7% to 19.7 billion pounds but the company's combined ratio, a measure of underwriting performance in which a level below 100% indicates a profit, weakened to 98.8% from 95.5%.
The results compare with a profit of 0.6 billion pounds a year ago.
Premium rates rose by an average of 3.9%, Lloyd's said.
Lloyd's in May asked the Banking Standards Board to conduct a survey of the insurance market's 45,000 participants on issues such as honesty and respect to help to improve its working environment, following allegations of sexual harassment at member firms.
The survey will be published on Sept 24, Neal said on Thursday.