IMF raises US outlook
The IMF is raising its outlook for the US economy, as a budget deal in Washington and the US Federal Reserve’s plan to taper its bond buying ease doubts about the future, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said. “We see a lot more certainty for 2014,” she said in an interview broadcast on Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press. “With the unemployment rate falling, the Fed’s action last week and the government budget agreement, all of that gives us a much stronger outlook for 2014, which brings us to raising our forecast.” In October, the IMF said the US economy would expand 2.6 percent next year, compared with 1.6 percent this year. Lagarde did not specify any new figures in the interview.
Spain producer prices fall
Spanish producer prices fell the most in seven months last month, led by declines in energy and consumer goods. Prices at factory gates declined 0.9 percent from October, when they dropped a revised 0.5 percent, the National Statistics Institute said in a statement. Prices slipped 0.6 percent compared with a year earlier. The Spanish government is trying to drive down the cost of export goods to boost competitiveness, as it looks to foreign demand to drag the economy out of a five-year slump.
Swatch wins Tiffany suit
Swiss watchmaker Swatch Group has won a lawsuit against US jewelry group Tiffany & Co over a failed joint venture to jointly design and market luxury watches. Tiffany was required to pay Swatch 402 million Swiss francs (US$449 million) under the ruling by the Netherlands Arbitration Institute, Swatch said in a statement. The case stemmed from a 2007-2011 cooperation deal that Swatch said Tiffany had systematically obstructed. Swatch Group had sought SF3.8 billion from its erstwhile partner, while Tiffany had countersued for SF541.9 million from Swatch.
N Brown Group expanding
Internet and catalogue retailer N Brown Group PLC, which owns the Jacamo and Simply Be brands, is seeking to expand its presence in the UK, the Daily Telegraph reported. The company, which has nine outlets in the UK, has hired a former Asda property executive to spearhead the property acquisition, the report said. “We’re looking for locations which will be suitable to house our brands, Jacamo and Simply Be, and complement our established and thriving Internet and catalogue businesses,” N Brown property acquisitions manager Guy Price said.
Fitch downgrades POSCO
Fitch Ratings Ltd has lowered POSCO’s credit rating one level to its second-lowest investment grade because of high capital expenditure and rising debt. Fitch does not expect significant improvements in margins at South Korea’s largest steelmaker, as the industry faces severe overcapacity coupled with a slow recovery in global demand, it said in a statement yesterday. It downgraded POSCO’s long-term issuer default rating and senior unsecured rating to “BBB” from “BBB+”.
Prada issues profit warning
Prada SpA shares slid 4.2 percent to HK$68.50 yesterday after the Italian maker of luxury handbags said sales may miss estimates. The luxury retailer said it may fall short of analysts’ projections for fiscal-year revenue following unfavorable currency moves and slowing Europe and Asia demand.
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