Foxconn factory reopens
A Foxconn (富士康) factory making Apple’s iPhone 5 in northern China reopened yesterday, a manager said, a day after it shut down following a huge workers’ brawl that took 5,000 police several hours to quell. A total of 40 men in Taiyuan in Shanxi Province suffered injuries after a “personal dispute between several employees” escalated into a 2,000-person fight in a dormitory, Foxconn’s Taiwanese parent company, Hon Hai Precision Ltd (鴻海), said in a statement.
Ministry drafts 2013 budget
The government yesterday proposed a budget for next year that includes bigger spending on infrastructure, job creation and welfare as it seeks to mitigate the impact of the global economic slowdown. The proposal — to be presented to parliament by next month — calls for total spending of 342.5 trillion won (US$306 billion) for next year, a 5.3 percent rise over this year, while total income next year is forecast to grow by 8.6 percent to 373.1 trillion won, the finance ministry said in a statement. The aim is to balance the budget in 2014, the ministry said, revising its previous goal of achieving fiscal balance by next year.
Industrial confidence low
French industrial confidence held near its lowest in more than two years this month as the economy stagnates and tax increases loom. A measure of sentiment among factory executives was unchanged at 90, national statistics office Insee said in Paris yesterday. Economists expected a reading of 89, according to the median of 18 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey of economists. A gauge that includes retailers, builders and service industries fell to a three-year low of 86 from 87 last month.
Consumer confidence stalls
German consumer confidence is stagnating, a poll found yesterday, adding to evidence that the eurozone debt crisis is increasingly affecting Europe’s top economy. Market research company GfK said its household confidence index was forecast to remain at 5.9 points next month, the same level as the reading this month, a statement said. GfK said consumers’ willingness to spend had improved, as had their assessment of the economic situation, but they expected their own personal income situation to worsen over the coming months.
Kellogg, Wilmar team up
Kellogg Co, the largest US maker of breakfast cereal, will set up a joint venture with Wilmar International Ltd (豐益國際) to distribute cereal and snacks in China, expanding the company’s reach in the country. The 50-50 joint venture includes manufacturing and sales of Kellogg namesake and Pringles brands, a Kellogg statement said. The start of the venture with Singapore-based Wilmar is subject to regulatory approval.
More super-rich in Asia
The number of super-rich in Asia is set to reach 2.67 million people by 2015, with an estimated total net worth of US$16.7 trillion, Swiss private bank Julius Baer said yesterday. The findings, announced in its 2012 Wealth Report focusing on Asia, indicated that the region’s high net worth individuals were largely immune from the economic ills affecting the rest of the world. Julius Baer also said that its high net worth individuals estimate for 2015 represented a compounded annual growth rate of 30 percent from 2010 estimates.