Growth forecasts adjusted
The government is upgrading its growth forecast for this year, but has tangibly cut its prognosis for next year, the business daily Handelsblatt reported yesterday. Berlin, which is scheduled to publish its latest updated growth forecasts next Wednesday, is penciling in growth of 1 percent for both this year and next year, the newspaper said, quoting government sources. That represents an increase for this year from an earlier prognosis of 0.7 percent, but a sharp downward revision for next year from a previous forecast of 1.6 percent.
Economy is weak: minister
The government has downgraded its view of the economy for the third straight month as worries about Europe’s debt crisis and China’s slowdown intensify, adding pressure on the central bank to offer further stimulus to support growth. Economics Minister Seiji Maehara said that while it was too early to judge whether Japan may slip into recession, the economy’s trend was weak, as a lack of global demand hurts exports. The downgrade in assessment followed the Bank of Japan’s warning last week that economic activity was leveling off and that it may not recover until well into next year.
Economy shrank in Q3
The economy shrank by 1.5 percent in the third quarter, but avoided a technical recession after growth in the previous three months was adjusted, government figures showed yesterday. The Ministry of Trade and Industry said the export-driven city-state was still on track to achieve annual growth of between 1.5 percent and 2.5 percent this year. “Economic growth in the second quarter was better than expected, resulting in an upward revision of quarter-on-quarter annualized growth from the preliminary estimates of [minus]-0.7 percent to 0.2 percent,” it said.
Mining boosts production
The government said industrial production rose 2.7 percent in August, more than expected on a rebound in mining activity, though investment still appeared weak. Mining output rose 2 percent, marking a turnaround from a 5.5 percent contraction a year earlier. Manufacturing rose 2.9 percent and electricity output increased 1.9 percent in August from a year earlier. Yesterday’s data also showed that production of capital goods — a sign of investment in physical assets, such as machinery — slid 1.7 percent. The government revised its July figures, saying output contracted 0.2 percent, down from its earlier estimate of 0.1 percent growth.
Infosys profit disappoints
Profit at India’s Infosys Technologies rose 4.9 percent in US dollar terms for the third quarter, the company said yesterday, missing expectations amid tepid demand from global clients struggling with economic uncertainty. Net income for the third quarter was US$431 million. Revenue grew 2.9 percent from a year ago, to US$1.78 billion.
Sony’s credit rating cut
Sony Corp, reeling from four annual losses, had its credit rating lowered one level by Moody’s Investors Service, which cited weak cash flow and losses at the company’s TV and mobile phone operations. The rating was cut to “Baa2,” the second-lowest investment grade, from “Baa1,” with a negative outlook, Moody’s said in a report yesterday. The decision affects about US$4.2 billion in debt, according to Moody’s.
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price
NOT A PANACEA: Offering 5G services would not solve the problem of declining telecom incomes, chairman Sheih Chi-mau said, expecting a flat 5G telecom revenue Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years. Subscribers would have unlimited data transmission for monthly fees starting at NT$1,399 — the same flat rate as when the company launched its 4G service in 2014 — and they can subscribe to the highest-rate plan for NT$2,699 per month for faster data transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, the company said. Data transmission speeds would be within the range
STAYING AHEAD: TSMC expects its sales this year to grow 14 to 19 percent and could spend up to US$3.52 billion on research and development, leaving its rivals far behind Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) reported that the US last year approved 99 percent of its patent applications, which placed the tech giant among the top patent holders in the US. In its Corporate Social Responsibility Report, TSMC said it last year secured about 3,600 patents worldwide, including more than 2,300 in the US. As of the end of last year, TSMC owned more than 39,000 patents, the report said. The company last year filed almost 6,500 patent applications worldwide and ranked among the top 10 patent applicants in the US. In Taiwan, it was the largest patent applicant for the fourth