FDI rebounds slightly
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the nation rose marginally in the first quarter, led by Japanese, EU and US companies, after declining last year, the government announced yesterday. Incoming FDI, which excludes financial sectors, rose 1.4 percent from January to March to US$29.9 billion, the Ministry of Commerce said. It was also up 5.65 percent at US$12.4 billion last month, rising for the second straight month.
Central bank raises key rate
The central bank has increased its key Selic interest rate for the first time in nearly two years to try to cool off inflation. A statement from the bank on Wednesday said it increased the benchmark rate from a record-low 7.25 percent to 7.5 percent. The bank said the increase was needed because of inflation’s “resistance” despite a slowing of the economy. Inflation ran at 6.6 percent in March over the previous 12 months. The government had set 6.5 percent as its target for inflation for this year.
EBay records profitable Q1
EBay Inc grew its earnings and revenue in the first quarter thanks to growth in its PayPal business and its e-commerce sites. However, revenue fell shy of Wall Street’s expectations and the company’s outlook for the current quarter is weaker than expected, causing investors to send the company’s stock lower in after-hours trading. EBay on Wednesday said it earned US$677 million, or US$0.51 per share, in the period between January and last month, up from US$570 million, or US$0.44 per share, in the same period a year earlier. Revenue grew 14 percent to US$3.75 billion, slightly below Wall Street’s expectations.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
Nestle posts sales growth
Swiss food and drinks giant Nestle SA yesterday reported first-quarter sales of 21.9 billion Swiss francs (US$23.48 billion), up 2.3 percent from the same period a year earlier. The company said sales in developed markets continue to be subdued by low consumer confidence amid global financial uncertainty both in the US — which is Nestle’s biggest market — and in Europe. The company expects to see stronger momentum in key emerging markets, where it reported 8.4 percent growth in the first quarter.
EU crisis hits Carrefour
French big-box retailer Carrefour SA saw sales slip in the first quarter due to the economic crisis in Europe and currency depreciation in Latin America. The retailer yesterday reported 20.8 billion euros (US$27.3 billion) in revenue in th eperiod between January and last month, a 1.3 percent drop when sales from discontinued operations are excluded. By pulling out of Singapore, Greece, Indonesia, Malaysia and Colombia, Carrefour tripled its profits last year, but its sales are flagging. The company’s most worrying performance is in Europe.
Shell closes Nigerian line
Royal Dutch Shell PLC on Wednesday said it has shut down a major pipeline in Nigeria’s oil-rich southern delta to remove points that thieves are using to steal crude from it. Shell said its Nigerian subsidiary shut down the Nembe Creek Trunkline, halting production of about 150,000 barrels of oil a day. Shell said it had issued a force majeure warning on its Bonny Light crude oil exports — meaning it is unable to meet the contracted demand for the crude.
Polytronics Technology Corp (聚鼎科技) yesterday announced that it is buying Henkel AG’s thermal clad dielectric material (TCLAD) business division for US$26 million as the Taiwanese firm aims to improve its technology, product portfolio and revenue performance. Polytronics, headquartered in the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), is a supplier of protection components and heat dissipation materials. The firm entered the metallic heat-dissipation substrate market in 2007 and developed a unique solventless production process. Its board of directors approved signing an agreement with Henkel to acquire the German chemical firm’s TCLAD division in the US. The purchase includes all assets and business interests, including equipment,
SIZE MATTERS: Medium-sized hotels that do not have the support of parent groups are more vulnerable and are forced to take action, a REPro Knight Frank researcher said About 50 hotels across Taiwan are seeking to exit the market as they succumb to the bleak business outlook amid international travel restrictions imposed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Yomi Hotel (優美飯店) on Minsheng E Road, Sec 1, in Taipei is seeking to transfer ownership with an asking price of NT$950 million (US$32.15 million) and a pledge for a lease contract that guarantees a 3 percent return. The budget hotel, with room rates that start from NT$1,400 per night, maintains normal operations, but has been struggling since March, when the government placed restrictions on inbound and outbound travel. Occupancy rates for hotels in
With the US dollar expected to weaken in the next 12 months due to near-zero interest rates, investors should consider purchasing US corporate bonds, Standard Chartered Bank Taiwan Ltd (渣打台灣銀行) said on Thursday. The bank said that the US Federal Reserve since last month has been buying bonds issued by US companies to curb default rates. The US dollar is forecast to be weaker against the pound, the euro and the yen, as well as the Canadian dollar, the Swedish krona and the Swiss franc, as the greenback lacks high investment returns after the Fed in March slashed the benchmark interest rate
A Bollywood actor’s face tattooed on his arm, Sandeep Bacche’s devotion shocks few in India where stars enjoy semi-divine status, but even there the hallowed silver screen might be losing its shine to streaming services and pandemic fears. “Whenever things get better and theaters begin operations, I will watch three movies a day for sure just as a way to celebrate,” said the Mumbai rickshaw driver, who is recovering from the virus himself. However, others might not join the party. With cinemas shut for months due to a COVID-19 lockdown, and little prospect they will reopen soon, frustrated Bollywood producers have turned to