Moody’s cuts Spain’s rating
Ratings agency Moody’s slashed Spain’s sovereign credit rating by a notch to “Aa2” yesterday and warned of further cuts, saying that the country’s plans to clean up the battered banking sector would cost more than the government expects and add to its debt burden.
Moody’s Investors Service also said it had ongoing worries about the Spanish government’s ability to achieve structural improvement in its finances. A negative outlook reflects concerns that Spain’s government finances “remain skewed to the downside,” the ratings agency said.
German exports gain ground
German exports gained a solid 24.2 percent in January over the past 12 months, official but provisional figures released in Frankfurt yesterday showed, pushing the country’s trade surplus higher. The value of German exports rose to 78.5 billion euros (US$108.7 billion), the Destatis office said, a sign of sustained strength in Europe’s biggest economy, while imports gained 24.1 percent to 68.4 billion euros. That pushed the national trade surplus up to 10.1 billion euros, from 8.1 billion in January last year, Destatis said.
GDP contracted 1.3% in Q4
Japan’s economy shrank more than initially thought in the fourth quarter, the government said yesterday. Real GDP contracted at an annualized rate of 1.3 percent in the October-December period, worse than the negative 1.1 percent growth reported in preliminary data last month. The Cabinet Office’s revised report includes weaker figures for business investment and consumer spending. The annualized figure translates to a 0.3 percent fall from the previous three-month period. For the full calendar year last year, Japan’s economy expanded 3.9 percent, unchanged from the preliminary report.
Foreclosures hit 3-year low
US foreclosure filings fell last month to the lowest level in three years as lenders under legal scrutiny struggled to process a backlog of defaults and put new systems in place for home seizures, RealtyTrac Inc said. A total of 225,101 US properties received notices of default, auction or repossession, down 14 percent from January and 27 percent from February last year, the Irvine, California-based data seller said yesterday in a statement.
Rio Tinto raises bid again
Australian mining giant Rio Tinto has again raised its offer for Riversdale Mining Ltd, valuing the coal miner and its African operations at US$4 billion. Rio Tinto said yesterday that it was raising its offer to US$16.50 a share, up from the US$16 offered in December. The takeover would be Rio Tinto’s first major acquisition since its US$38 billion takeover of Alcan in 2007. Doug Ritchie, chief executive of Rio Tinto’s energy division, says that Riversdale needs his company’s expertise to develop its projects.
Kinect breaks all-time record
Microsoft Corp said on Wednesday it has sold more than 10 million Kinect motion-sensing game system units worldwide in just over four months, making it the fastest-selling consumer device on record. The infrared camera add-on for the Xbox game console helped boost Microsoft’s revenue in the last quarter and is trouncing a rival product from Sony Corp.
‘BIG LOSS’: This year might see the last generation of Huawei’s Kirin chips, as their production would stop next month because they are made using US technology Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is running out of processor chips to make smartphones due to US sanctions and would be forced to stop production of its own most advanced chips, a company executive has said, in a sign of growing damage to Huawei’s business from US pressure. Huawei, one of the biggest producers of smartphones and network equipment, is at the center of US-Chinese tension over technology and security. Washington last year cut off Huawei’s access to US components and technology, and those penalties were tightened in May, when the White House barred vendors worldwide from using US
’WHITE BOX’: The open platform would give local firms access to Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop 5G telecom equipment and tap into the global market The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday introduced a new 5G “open lab” in collaboration with US-based information technology and networking giant Cisco Systems Inc to address the rapidly growing “white box” 5G networking equipment market. The open lab will be a platform where Taiwanese manufacturers can access Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop their own 5G telecom equipment, such as small-cell base stations, network switches, modems and Internet of things (IoT) devices, a ministry statement said. The open platform would allow Taiwanese manufacturers to tap into the lucrative 5G telecom equipment market, which was previously monopolized by Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB
CORPORATE SCANDAL: Cathay Life has invested NT$13.3 billion in Bank Mayapada since 2015, but the latest loss of NT$8.8 billion has completely written off its investment Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) yesterday said it would recognize an investment loss of NT$8.8 billion (US$298.1 million) in Indonesia’s Bank Mayapada Internasional Tbk PT due to concerns about the lender’s operations amid a corporate scandal. The company said it would revise its earnings result for June, from a net profit of NT$6.52 billion to a net loss of NT$520 million, its first monthly loss over the past 17 months. After booking an investment loss of NT$5.2 billion in Bank Mayapada earlier this year, Cathay Life has so far recognized total investment losses of NT$14 billion in the lender, executive vice president
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday reported that revenue last month expanded 25 percent annually, but fell 12.8 percent month-on-month to NT$105.96 billion (US$3.59 billion). In the first seven months of this year, the chipmaker’s revenue surged 33.6 percent to NT$727.26 billion, compared with NT$544.46 billion a year earlier. TSMC has said it aims to grow its revenue by more than 20 percent this year. The company has since May 15 stopped taking new orders from Huawei Technologies Co (華為), its second-biggest customer after Apple Inc, due to the US’ restrictions on exports containing US technologies. TSMC has no plans to