Foreign investment rises
Foreign direct investment (FDI) into China rose 5 percent year-on-year to US$40.3 billion in the first four months of this year, lifted by funds from Asian neighbors, the government said yesterday. For last month alone FDI — which excludes investment in financial sectors — was up 3.4 percent at US$8.7 billion, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement. However, that was down from US$12.24 billion in March. “Investment from major countries and regions into China maintained a stable growth momentum,” ministry spokesman Shen Danyang (沈丹陽) said in the statement. In the January-to-April period, the top five investors included Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, Japan and China’s special administrative region of Hong Kong, the ministry said. Investment from Japan plunged 46.8 percent to US$1.6 billion, it said, as a political row over disputed islands in the East China Sea, which Taiwan also claims, has made Japanese companies reluctant to pour funds into its neighbor.
Deutsche Bank sells casino
Deutsche Bank AG is cutting itself free of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas resort and casino, saying it is selling the swanky but unprofitable high-rise complex on the Strip to Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII for US$1.73 billion. The German investment bank said in a statement on Thursday that the cash deal remains subject to regulatory approvals. The bank had intended to sell the property from before it even opened in 2010 and had placed The Cosmopolitan in a separate bank division devoted to winding down or selling unwanted investments. Blackstone, which owns US$81 billion in real-estate assets globally, is in the business of buying underperforming property and improving it for resale.
Wal-Mart income hit
Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s first-quarter net income fell 5 percent as bad winter weather and financial struggles kept customers from spending at the world’s largest retailer. Wal-Mart’s latest performance appears to show that many people are having a hard time stretching their money between paychecks. The company’s shares fell nearly 2 percent as Wal-Mart reported results that missed Wall Street’s expectations for the third time in five quarters and gave a weak second-quarter earnings forecast. For the period ended April 30, the Bentonville, Arkansas, company earned US$3.59 billion, or US$1.11 per share. That compares with US$3.78 billion, or US$1.14 per share, a year ago. Wal-Mart said that bad weather hurt earnings by about US$0.03 per share. Its performance was also dinged by a higher-than-expected tax rate. Income from continuing operations was US$1.10 per share. Analysts, on average, expected earnings of US$1.15 per share, according to a FactSet survey.
Applied Materials eyes Q3
Applied Materials Inc gave a forecast for fiscal third-quarter sales that topped the low end of analysts’ estimates as it takes market share and demand for display-making machinery rebounds. Revenue in the period that ends in July will be US$2.24 billion to US$2.35 billion, based on the company’s prediction for sales to be down 5 percent to flat from the prior quarter. Analysts were estimating US$2.16 billion to US$2.46 billion and an average of US$2.32 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Profit before certain items will be US$0.25 to US$0.29 a share, the company said in a statement on Thursday, compared with an average projection of US$0.27.
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
‘SENSITIVE MARKETS’: The previously unannounced project would involve the company handing over control of data to a third party to sidestep privacy concerns Google has abandoned plans to offer a major new cloud service in China and other politically sensitive countries due in part to concerns over geopolitical tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic, two employees familiar with the matter said, revealing the challenges for US tech giants to secure business in those markets. In May, the search giant shut down the initiative, known as “Isolated Region” and which sought to address nations’ desires to control data within their borders, the employees said. The action was considered a “massive strategy shift,” said one of the employees, who added that Isolated Region had involved hundreds of employees