Finance ministers meet
EU finance ministers are in Luxembourg to take stock of the debt crisis before a summit of EU leaders later this month. The 17 eurozone ministers yesterday were scheduled to look at Greece’s budget proposals. They were to hear from the troika — the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF — about its negotiations with the Greek government. No final troika report will be submitted, so no decision on a new payout of aid will be made.
Exports rise by 2.4 percent
Official data show that exports from Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, were up 2.4 percent in August compared with the previous month — the second consecutive increase. The Federal Statistical Office said yesterday that Germany exported goods and services worth 95 billion euros (US$124 billion) in August in calendar-adjusted terms; the gain followed a 0.4 percent increase in July. German imports were up 0.3 percent at 76.7 billion euros, following an identical gain in July, so that the seasonally-adjusted trade surplus grew to 18.3 billion euros in August from 16.3 billion euros in July.
Economy to contract: BOF
The Bank of France (BOF) said yesterday that the economy likely contracted by 0.1 percent in the third quarter of this year in its final estimation. If the estimate is confirmed by France’s official statistical agency INSEE, it would be the first quarterly contraction since the country exited recession in the spring of 2009. INSEE’s chief forecaster said last week that the agency believes France will continue to escape recession, but stagnate with zero growth in the third and fourth quarters, as opposed to its previous forecasts in June of 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent growth respectively.
Jobless rate holds steady
Swiss unemployment held steady last month, suggesting companies are holding onto their employees even as the economy cools. The jobless rate, adjusted for seasonal swings, remained at 2.9 percent, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in Bern said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. That is below the median forecast of 3 percent by 11 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Unadjusted unemployment was also unchanged from August at 2.8 percent.
India to reduce deficit
Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said yesterday the government was working on “a credible and feasible” plan to reduce its yawning budget deficit, which has alarmed investors and ratings agencies. The government’s annual budget in March, which saw a deficit target of 5.1 percent of GDP for this year, has been hit by a slump in tax revenues. Chidambaram also said he expects economic growth to increase from the 5.5 percent registered in the first fiscal quarter.
Analysts report on China
China needs to expand the access local governments have to private capital for funding about 19 trillion yuan (US$3 trillion) of investment projects they have announced since May, JPMorgan Chase & Co analysts wrote. Slowing economic growth and central government limits on lending to local authorities and the property sector have created “headwinds” for local governments’ “traditional” funding sources that include fiscal revenue, land sales and bank borrowings, according to the JPMorgan report dated on Friday.
POOR INTERNAL CONTROLS: Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa said the company is expected to get back on track while its chairman is suspended The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$939,415) for a reckless investment that endangered its solvency, and suspended its chairman Eugene Wu (吳東進) for poor supervision. The penalty is the second-highest in a single case after Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) was fined NT$30 million in September last year and its chairman Du Ying-tzyong (杜英宗) suspended for two years, the commission said. In three rounds of special and regular examinations conducted since last year, the commission found that Shin Kong Life had given too much power to an asset and liability management committee
Nano-X Imaging Ltd, a start-up founded by Israeli investor Ran Poliakine, is joining forces with South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc to build a machine that could disrupt a century-old X-ray industry. Valued at about US$2 billion after listing on the NASDAQ last month, Nano-X is seeking to transform a multibillion-dollar industry that has essentially relied on the same technology since Nobel Prize in Physics winner Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-rays in the late 19th century. Nano-X’s device uses semiconductors instead of metal filaments to generate X-rays. The backing of SK Hynix, the world’s second-largest maker of memory chips, is a boost for
Continental AG, which makes control units for Daimler AG cars, cannot pursue antitrust claims against a group of patent owners, including Qualcomm Inc, which are seeking royalties on telecommunications technology, a federal judge in Texas ruled. Avanci LLC, a licensing pool formed by Qualcomm, Nokia Oyj, Sharp Corp and other owners of patents on technology standards, is not breaching antitrust laws when it negotiates license agreements with automakers rather than the component makers, Barbara Lynn, chief district judge for the Northern District of Texas, said in dismissing the suit in a decision posted on Friday. The licensing group charges US$15 per vehicle
Sony Corp has cut its estimated Play Station 5 (PS5) production for this fiscal year by 4 million units, down to about 11 million, following production issues with its custom-designed system-on-chip (SOC) for the new console, people familiar with the matter said. The Tokyo-based electronics giant in July boosted orders with suppliers in anticipation of heightened demand for gaming in the holiday season and beyond, as people spend more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the company has come up against manufacturing issues, such as production yields as low as 50 percent for its SOC, which have cut into