Russia tables US trade deal
Russia on Wednesday proposed a series of bilateral trade negotiations with the US under the umbrella of a hoped-for new trade agenda between the two countries, a senior Russian official said. He said that the idea of establishing a framework for talks that could lead to up to five separate deals — beginning with a pact on investment — was floated during a meeting between Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov and US Trade Representative Michael Froman on Wednesday.
South Korea, NZ hold rates
The Bank of Korea yesterday kept its key interest rate unchanged at 2.5 percent for the seventh straight month as the South Korean economy shows signs of a moderate recovery, while inflation remains tame. Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand left the official cash rate unchanged at a record low of 2.5 percent, but signaled that it would rise “as needed” to keep inflation in check, citing the high New Zealand dollar, a robust housing market and strong demand for the country’s agricultural commodities.
Joblessness on the rise
The unemployment rate climbed to 5.8 percent last month as the nation’s mining-fueled boom fades, but analysts said it was unlikely to spark an interest rate cut. The outcome was 0.1 percentage points higher than in October and in line with expectations, with the number of unemployed increasing by 3,400. The labor participation rate was steady at 64.8 percent, its lowest level since October 2006.
Facebook to join S&P 500
Facebook is to join the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index, replacing technology supplier Teradyne Inc, while Abercrombie & Fitch is downgraded from the benchmark index. S&P Dow Jones Indices on Wednesday announced a broader reshuffling of several of its market trackers, effective after the close of trading on Friday next week. Shares of Menlo Park, California-based Facebook Inc have surged 86 percent this year. The company is also joining the S&P 100 index.
Air Canada orders Boeings
Air Canada announced on Wednesday it had placed a firm US$6.5 billion order for 61 Boeing Co’s 737 MAX narrow-body aircraft, with options on 18 more planes and purchase rights for 30 others. The order — which comes as the airline seeks to replace its aging Airbus A320 and A321 fleet — concerns 33 of the MAX 8 version of the 737 and 28 of the MAX 9 aircraft, with substitution rights between them, as well as for 737 MAX 7 aircraft. Deliveries for the Boeing order are due to begin with two aircraft in 2017, with 16 the following year, 18 in 2019, 16 in 2020 and nine in 2021.
Yahoo Mail still down
An outage at Yahoo Mail stretched into its second day on Wednesday, prompting the US Internet pioneer to apologize to unhappy users. Yahoo would not disclose the number of e-mail accounts knocked out of service since late on Monday night California time. Jeffrey Bonforte, Yahoo’s senior vice president of communication products, said in a short message posted on microblogging site Tumblr that the outage was caused by a “hardware problem” at one of the company’s data centers.
HEAVY INVESTMENT: Moody’s affirmed the firm’s ‘Aa3’ rating with a ‘stable’ outlook due to its leading position in the industry and ability to match customer requirements Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) revenue this year is expected to increase about 21 percent to NT$1.29 trillion (US$44.01 billion) from NT$1.07 trillion last year, driven by strong demand for advanced 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips mainly used in smartphones and high-performance computing devices, a Moody’s Investors Service report on Wednesday said. TSMC’s rate of revenue growth next year is to increase to 7.5 percent, the ratings agency said. The company, which supplies 5-nanometer chips for Apple Inc’s new iPad series, has introduced the advanced chips ahead of its competitors and gained a significant share of the market for the foundry industry’s
Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控) yesterday said that its insurance unit would adjust its investment portfolio after being banned from buying new stocks a day earlier by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC). “We will research what we can do based on the commission’s specific instructions after we receive the regulator’s formal documents,” Shin Kong Financial spokesman Sunny Hsu (徐順鋆) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The commission on Tuesday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$941,722) for reckless investment, and demanded that the insurer reduce its overseas investment ratio from 43 percent to 39 percent. The fine would affect
Taipei Times: When do you think the hospitality industry can return to how it was before the COVID-19 pandemic? How does Formosa International Hotels Group (FIH, 晶華酒店集團) fare this quarter and beyond? FIH chairman Steve Pan (潘思亮): The virus outbreak will have a serious impact on business travel, driven mainly by meetings, incentive travel, conferences and exhibitions over the past three decades. For the past six months, many businesspeople have grown used to exchanging information on the Internet, where more people can participate. The trend might sustain for three to five years until people are vaccinated and it is safe to
DIGITAL COMMERCE: In 2016, only 2 percent of orders were delivered in Taiwan, but that has risen to 10 percent, Foodpanda Taiwan Co operations director Nick Yu said Online food delivery platforms have seen explosive growth in Taiwan this year, helped by business opportunities related to the COVID-19 pandemic, company executives said at a digital commerce conference in Taipei yesterday. When the threat of COVID-19 kept people from going out to eat, more people experimented with ordering food deliveries online, Foodpanda Taiwan Co Ltd (富胖達) operations director Nick Yu (余岳勳) said. Foodpanda started operations in Taiwan in 2012. “We experienced 5,000 percent growth in the past 24 months,” Yu said. “That’s more than the previous six years combined.” In 2016, only 2 percent of food orders were delivered in Taiwan, but that