Asian stocks rose this week, led by exporters including Kyocera Corp and Samsung Electronics Co, after US economic reports strengthened optimism of a US-led global recovery that will fuel demand for Asian-made products. \nThe Morgan Stanley Capital International's Asia Pacific Index, which tracks more than 800 stocks in the region, posted its second winning week, rising 1.6 in the past five days. Japan's two stock benchmarks completed their best weeks this year. South Korea's Kospi index gained 2.5 percent. \nThe "US economy is looking a lot stronger than expected," said Kazunori Ohtomo, who helps manage the equivalent of US$1.9 billion at STB Asset Management Co in Tokyo. Improvements in the global economy are giving more reasons "for investors to buy stocks." \nHong Kong's Hang Seng Index registered the biggest decline in the region this week, shedding 3.3 percent. HSBC Holdings Plc, the world's second-biggest bank by market value, fell after reporting earnings that missed JP Morgan Chase & Co's estimate. \nFor the week, Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average and the Topix index both gained 4.5 percent. The Nikkei had the best week since the five days ended Aug. 15, while for the Topix it was the biggest weekly advance since Oct. 3. \nKyocera, the world's largest maker of ceramic packaging used to protect finished microchips, jumped 6 percent to ¥8,510 in the week. Honda Motor Co, which gets as much as 90 percent of its operating profit from North America, added 6.5 percent to ¥5,070. \nJapanese exporters also rose after the yen fell to ¥111.43 per dollar, its lowest since November. A weaker yen lifts the value of goods sold overseas. \nThe MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 60 percent since a record low last April, amid signs of a pickup in the global economy. \nThe US economy expanded at a 4.1 percent annual pace in the fourth quarter, the US Department of Commerce said a week ago. \nEconomists had predicted the rate would be revised to 3.8 percent, based on the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. \nThe Federal Reserve said on Wednesday that the world's largest economy expanded in January and last month as employment and retail prices rose. \nA separate index of factory employment from the Institute for Supply Management rose last month to its highest since December 1987. \nStill, gains may be capped next week after a government report late yesterday showed US employers hired workers at a sixth of the pace expected by economists last month. \nUS employers added 21,000 jobs last month, compared with the median Bloomberg News survey forecast for 130,000 new jobs, as gains in productivity helped companies increase output without hiring staff. The unemployment rate held at 5.6 percent as more Americans gave up their search for a job. \n"Some investors may take profits because the market has not performed as well as they expected," said Stella Lau, who helps manage US$1 billion at East Asia Asset Management Co in Hong Kong. \n"Even though there are signs of economic recovery, there hasn't been any significant improvement in the job market." \nSingapore's Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd, the world's fourth-largest supplier of made-to-order chips, rose 3.5 percent in the week to S$1.77. Singapore ships about a fifth of its products to the US. \nSamsung Electronics, South Korea's largest exporter, rose 3.5 percent to 565,000 won. LG Electronics Inc, which gets 75 percent of sales overseas, climbed 4.8 percent to 69,400 won. \nThe South Korean government said on Monday that exports rose 46 percent last month from a year ago, the most in 15 years, because of accelerating global demand for the nation's mobile phones, cars and semiconductors. \n"We can probably be more confident about an exports-led economy," said Jeon Woo Dong, who manages the equivalent of US$426 million at KB Investment Trust Management Co in Seoul. \nTaiwan's TAIEX gained 2.9 percent this week. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world's largest supplier of made-to-order chips, gained 5.5 percent to NT$67. \nHong Kong's Hang Seng had its first weekly decline in five. \nHSBC, the Hang Seng's biggest constituent, fell 4.7 percent to HK$122. \nJP Morgan in a research report Tuesday cut its recommendation on the stock to "underweight" from "neutral" because HSBC reported last year pretax earnings of US$12.8 billion that missed the broker's estimate of US$13.2 billion. Net income at the lender climbed 41 percent to US$8.77 billion. \n"They didn't give that much of a positive surprise and that's why we've seen some selling," said East Asia Asset Management's Lau. "There have been some sell recommendations out there."
From the customer’s perspective, car rental is a straightforward business. The only uncertainty is whether the hire company will charge you for the scratch they discover when you hand back the vehicle. Hertz Global Holdings Inc’s bankruptcy protection filing on Friday last week was a reminder that today even the simplest business models are underpinned by a lot more financial complexity than meets the eye. The proximate cause of Hertz’s demise was of course the sudden collapse in bookings caused by COVID-19 travel restrictions. The company’s monthly revenue last month fell 73 percent year-on-year, a shortfall that even the most resilient
Uber Technologies Inc, Lyft Inc and Airbnb Inc have slashed thousands of jobs. Salesforce.com Inc and Visa Inc are letting employees work remotely for months; Twitter Inc and Square Inc are allowing them to do so for good. For the companies’ hometown of San Francisco, the moves are early signs of a dire blow. In a city with a long history of booms, busts and natural calamities, the COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly upended nearly a decade of prosperity. While municipalities across the US are grappling with economic fallout from the virus, San Francisco stands to take a deeper hit given its high
BULK PURCHASE: The French chain and Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International reached a deal covering 224 stores, which is expected to be finalized by year’s end Carrefour SA yesterday announced it would acquire Wellcome Taiwan Co (惠康百貨) for 97 million euros (US$108.33 million), and bring all the Wellcome supermarkets (頂好超市) and Jasons Market Place stores nationwide under its banner within 12 months of the deal closing. The France-based hypermarket chain reached an agreement with Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International Holdings (牛奶國際控股), the pan-Asian retailer that launched Wellcome Taiwan in 1987. The transaction involves 199 Wellcome supermarkets, which have average sales areas of 420m2 and 25 high-end Jasons Market Place stores, which have an average sales area of 820m2, as well as a warehouse in Taoyuan, Carrefour Taiwan (家樂福)
‘ONE-STOP SHOP’: A Miaoli official said that the factory in the Jhunan section of the Hsinchu Science Park would create more than 1,000 jobs and boost prosperity A new high-end IC packaging and testing plant planned by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) in Miaoli County is expected to start operations in the middle of next year, Miaoli County Commissioner Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) said. Hsu wrote on Facebook that TSMC, the world’s largest pure wafer foundry operator, would invest NT$303.2 billion (US$10.1 billion) to build the plant, the largest-ever single investment in Taiwan. However, TSMC declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal, while a company board meeting on May 12 approved a spending plan worth NT$168.2 billion as part of its investment plans. Construction of the