Honda halts Taiwanese lines
Japanese automobile maker Honda Motor Co Inc said it decided to halt production at its Taiwanese factories because of disruption in component supply, stemming from severe floods in Thailand beginning in July, according to a company statement posted on its Web site on Friday. The resumption would depend on the situation of component supply, it said. Honda announced in October that it donated ￥280 million (US$3.59 million) toward Thailand flood relief and recovery efforts. Before that, Honda had donated 200 Honda GX160 engines to power small boats.
Unemployment falls to 8.6%
The unemployment rate, which has refused to budge from the 9 percent neighborhood for two-and-a-half frustrating years, fell sharply last month, driven in part by small businesses that finally see reason to hope and hire. Economists said there was a long way to go, but they liked what they saw. The rate fell to 8.6 percent, the lowest since March 2009, two months after President Barack Obama took office. Unemployment passed 9 percent that spring and had stayed there or higher for all but two months since then. The country added 120,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said on Friday.
Credit unions receive funds
The government allocated 250 million euros (US$335.12) to inject into the country’s credit unions for both this year and next year, according to a White Paper pre-budget report published yesterday. Finance Minister Michael Noonan said on Oct. 6 the state may need to inject between 500 million euros and 1 billion euros to recapitalize the country’s credit unions. A further 280 million euros has been earmarked for the country’s insurance compensation fund for this year and 396 million euros for next year, according to the paper. The cost of servicing the national debt will probably rise to 7.5 billion euros next year from 4.9 billion euros this year, assuming no new budget policy measures, the paper also showed.
ITC to probe solar imports
The International Trade Commission (ITC) took the first step toward imposing added tariffs on Chinese solar imports, saying subsidies for the products harm equipment makers such as SolarWorld AG. The trade panel voted unanimously in Washington on Friday in a preliminary ruling on the petition by Bonn-based SolarWorld calling for anti-dumping and countervailing duties. The commission will now proceed with a full investigation. The Chinese government uses cash grants, raw-materials discounts, preferential loans, tax incentives and currency manipulation to boost exports of solar cells, according to SolarWorld’s Oct. 19 complaint to the trade commission and the Commerce Department. SolarWorld is seeking duties.
No extension for Olympus
Japanese regulators will not extend a deadline for Olympus to report its financial results, sources with knowledge of the matter said, leaving the scandal-hit company with less than two weeks to correct two decades of accounting and avoid delisting. Olympus and its auditors are scrambling to correct past earnings statements and submit its latest results after the company admitted to a cover-up of securities losses dating back to the 1990s. If they cannot meet the Dec. 14 deadline, Olympus will be automatically delisted under stock exchange rules.