Bad loan ratio drops: FSC
The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) on Tuesday last week said the nation’s bad loan ratio dropped to 0.36 percent at the end of January from 0.38 percent a month earlier on better asset quality in the banking sector. Overall, bad loans amounted to NT$87.4 billion (US$2.88 billion) in January, down NT$2.5 billion from December last year, while outstanding loans gained NT$352.1 billion to NT$24.16 trillion, the commission said.
Ministry forecasts jobs rise
The nation’s manpower needs for next month are expected to increase by 36,676 jobs over the slow season in January, the Ministry of Labor said on Tuesday. A ministry survey showed that businesses with 30 or more employees will open 48,358 jobs by next month, though 11,682 other roles will be cut. Manufacturing led with 19,432 openings, followed by wholesale and retail business with 5,034, and the hotel and dining sector with 2,899, the survey said.
CSC eyes Q2 rise in output
China Steel Corp (中鋼) on Monday last week said its output for the second quarter would rise about 2.5 percent from the previous quarter on increased orders. The company also said the annual maintenance of its first and second furnaces will be completed by the end of the second quarter.
Lai to lead Vibo, too
Vibo Inc (威寶電信) last week said its board had approved Cliff Lai’s (賴弦五) appointment as president, after parent company Taiwan Star Cellular (台灣之星) hired Lai as president. Taiwan Star is a unit of the Ting Hsin International Group (頂新國際集團).
NOT ALL GOOD: Analysts warned that other data for last month might be less rosy due to the virus and analysts expect the PMI to contract again next month Chinese factory activity saw surprise growth last month as businesses went back to work following a lengthy shutdown, but analysts said that the economy faces a challenging recovery as external demand has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the World Bank said that growth could screech to a halt. China is slowly returning to life after months of tough restrictions aimed at containing the virus, which put millions of people into virtual house arrest and brought economic activity to a near standstill. The strict measures saw a closely watched gauge of manufacturing plunge to its lowest level on record in February,
The output of the global smartphone industry this year is to contract by 7.8 percent on an annual basis as the COVID-19 pandemic ushers in a global recession, Taipei-based market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said in a report on Monday. The global production of smartphones is expected to fall to 1.29 billion units, as the pandemic dampens demand for consumer electronics, leading to a decline in shipments across Europe and North America, TrendForce said. With consumers delaying smartphone purchases and thereby lengthening the device replacement cycle, overall prices would suffer a setback that is expected to negatively affect the profitability of smartphone
ELECTRONICS Lite-On delays sale of unit Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations. AUTO PARTS Hiroca approves dividend Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca
ALL ABOUT STRATEGY: The company is optimistic, saying that its gross margin should increase year-on-year, but it is scaling back on its plans to expand capacity Quang Viet Enterprise Co (QVE, 廣越), which makes down jackets and garments for sportswear and outdoor brands including Adidas AG, yesterday said that revenue might drop 5 to 10 percent annually this year as some customers trimmed orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That would mark its first revenue decline since 2016. Quang Viet posted record-high revenue of NT$16.26 billion (US$537.45 million) last year, up 22 percent from 2018. Down jackets made up 40 percent of it revenue last year. North Face Inc and Patagonia Inc are this year likely to reduce orders by 20 to 30 percent from a