No new stimulus from BOJ
The Bank of Japan (BOJ) yesterday held off announcing any fresh measures to stimulate the economy, offering the upbeat view that it was “recovering moderately” while efforts to stoke inflation were taking hold. The decision comes despite a sharp slowdown in July-to-September growth that raised concerns about the strength of recovery in the world’s third-largest economy and fueled speculation that the BOJ would expand its asset-purchasing scheme. “Japan’s economy has been recovering moderately,” the BOJ said in a statement, adding that “inflation expectations appear to be rising on the whole.”
Brazil says WTO compliant
Brazil on Thursday denied EU charges it engages in protectionism and said it would show its trade programs conform to WTO rules. The EU took Brazil to the WTO on Thursday, complaining it was using taxes to discriminate against imports and illegally help its exporters. The European Commission cited a 2011 case in which Brazil imposed a 30 percent tax increase on imported vehicles. The tax was due to expire at the end of last year, but was extended in amended form for five further years.
Germany to borrow less
The German government says it will borrow less money than planned this year, as low unemployment fuels a steady increase in tax income. Current plans call for new borrowing this year of 25.1 billion euros (US$34.3 billion). In its monthly report yesterday, the finance ministry said it now “appears assured” that the government will not need to borrow all of that. Tax revenue last month was up 3.9 percent from a year earlier at 39.48 billion euros. For the first 11 months, it rose 3.3 percent to nearly 495 billion euros.
S Africa halts exploration
South Africa has suspended oil and gas exploration off the east coast following a complaint over the impact of underwater sound pollution on sea life, an official said on Thursday. The government-run Petroleum Agency of South Africa halted seismic surveys along a pristine stretch of coast pending discussions between global oil firms and an environmentalist who blew the whistle on the out-of-season tests.
Telstra selling CSL stake
Australia’s Telstra Corp yesterday said it was selling its Hong Kong mobile phone business to billionaire Richard Li’s (李澤楷) telecom company in a deal worth US$2.4 billion. Telstra said it would earn about A$2 billion (US$1.8 billion) from selling its 76.4 percent stake in CSL to Li’s HKT Ltd, which is also buying the other 23.6 percent from another company, New World Development. The deal allows Li’s company, which already owns a separate mobile operator, to beef up its presence in the territory’s saturated mobile market. It also lets Telstra make a profitable exit ahead of a shakeup by Hong Kong’s telecommunications regulator aimed at boosting competition.
Nike Q2 beats estimates
Nike Inc, the world’s largest sporting-goods company, posted second-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates as higher-priced shoes boosted sales. Net income in the three months through November rose 40 percent to US$537 million, or US$0.59 a share, from US$384 million, or US$0.42, a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Profit excluding some items was US$0.59 a share.
NOTABLE SHIFT: By 2030, 50% of all laptops would be assembled in Southeast Asia, while Taiwan would still mostly focus on research and development, a report said Global laptop and desktop computer supply chains are expected to shift significantly away from China in the next 10 years, a Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) report said. By 2030, only 40 percent of global laptop production would remain in China, said the report, which was released on Thursday. “The reshuffling of the global supply chain will be one of the most important trends in the next 10 years,” the institute said in the report. “In the long run, key component makers will follow laptop assemblers in moving out of China.” The Taipei-based institute predicted most key component makers
NO VIRUS BLUES: A SEMI Taiwan official said that the virus does not slow down the global semiconductor industry’s investment in manufacturing equipment The production value of the nation’s semiconductor industry is expected to grow 16.7 percent this year from last year, outpacing the global industry’s 3.3 percent growth, industry association SEMI said yesterday. That would help Taiwan safeguard its second spot in the global semiconductor market with a production value of more than NT$3 trillion (US$102.73 billion), SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) told a media briefing in Taipei for the Semicon Taiwan trade show beginning today. The global semiconductor industry’s production value is expected to increase to US$426 billion this year, SEMI said. In terms of semiconductor equipment investment, equipment billings from Taiwanese firms
Intel Corp has received licenses from US authorities to continue supplying certain products to Huawei Technologies Co (華為), a company spokesman said yesterday. Washington has been pushing governments around to world to squeeze out Huawei, saying that the telecom giant would hand data to Beijing for espionage. From Monday last week, new curbs have barred US companies from supplying or servicing Huawei. This week, the state-backed China Securities Journal reported that Intel had received permission to supply Huawei. China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際), which uses US-origin equipment to make chips for Huawei and other companies, last week confirmed that it had sought
Merck Group Taiwan yesterday said that it plans to invest substantially on expanding its fab in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) to better serve its local customers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電). The company said it plans to expand its production space by 50 percent in the next five years and its workforce by about 40 percent, Merck Group Taiwan managing director Dick Hsieh (謝志宏) told a media briefing in Taipei. Hsieh declined to disclose investment details, but said that the latest investment would exceed the total amount Merck has invested in Taiwan over the past few years. Those investments would be