Canada’s jobless still 7%
Canada’s unemployment rate remained at 7 percent last month as the country unexpectedly shed 11,000 jobs in the month, the Canadian government said on Friday. Full-time jobs declined by 2,300 compared with the previous month while part-time positions dropped by 8,700, Statistics Canada said. Year-on-year, however, employment increased by 81,000 — or 0.5 percent — mostly in part-time positions. Employment declined among young people aged 15 to 24 last month, as well as among women aged 25 to 54. However, men aged 25 to 54 saw an uptick in jobs, edging that group’s unemployment rate down by 0.2 percent.
Domestic tourists spend less
Tourists in Italy spent around 1 billion euros (US$1.3 billion) less this summer than the same period last year, as a long economic slump sapped Italians’ disposable incomes and bad weather kept people away from the seaside, the country’s main tourist body said on Friday. The report by the association representing Italian bar and restaurant owners (Fipe) is a blow to hopes of an economic recovery in the third quarter. A 2.1 percent annual drop in domestic tourism this summer outweighed a 0.3 percent increase in foreign visitors, Fipe said, adding that Italian tourists spent an average of 90 euros (US$117) per day, down from 92 euros last year.
Albania bank head arrested
Albania’s central bank Governor Ardian Fullani was arrested on Friday on suspicion of abuse of power after millions of euros were stolen from the bank, prosecutor’s spokesman Albi Serani said. Fullani was arrested after the bank discovered last month that at least US$7 million had been taken from its reserves over the past four years, Serani said. An arrest warrant was also issued for the bank’s inspector-general Elivera Golemi, who is also suspected of abuse of power. Since last month, 14 employees of Albania’s Central Bank have been arrested in the case. Fullani, who has been the head of Albania’s central bank since 2004, has denied any involvement.
Amazon secures credit line
Amazon.com Inc has secured a US$2 billion credit facility, which could give chief executive officer Jeff Bezos more leeway to boost investments in new businesses. The credit agreement with Bank of America Corp is for two years and could be extended for another three with approval, Amazon said in a regulatory filing on Friday. The credit line was announced a month after the world’s largest online retailer reported a second-quarter loss of US$126 million, more than double what was predicted.
Family Dollar rejects bid
Discount retailer Family Dollar on Friday rejected an enhanced US$9.8 billion takeover offer from Dollar General as it sought to discourage a hostile campaign that could threaten its deal with Dollar Tree. For the second time in a month, Family Dollar’s board raised the issue that the unsolicited merger proposal would give Dollar General too much market power with 20,000 stores, mostly serving low-income areas, and bring a delay if not a veto from the US Federal Trade Commission.
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
INVEST IN TAIWAN: A metal components casting firm and the world’s largest maker of aluminum bicycle rims also obtained approvals to join the program Solar Applied Materials Technology Co (SOLAR, 光洋應用材料), a part of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) “green supply chain,” has pledged to invest NT$1 billion (US$34.1 million) to build a new plant at the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. SOLAR has been collaborating with TSMC to extract precious metals from waste and reuse them as “sputtering target” material in high-end semiconductor manufacturing, a TSMC press release issued in May said. Established in 1978, SOLAR also offers key materials and integrated services to customers in the optoelectronics, information and communications technology, petrochemicals and consumer electronics industries,
Swancor Renewable Energy Co (上緯新能源) yesterday announced plans for a 4.4 gigawatt (GW) offshore wind project off Miaoli County as part of its commitment toward Taiwan’s energy transformation, the company said in a statement. The “Formosa 4” project includes three deep-water wind farms 18km to 20km off the coast, Swancor Renewable CEO Lucas Lin (林雍堯) said, adding that planning for the project began last year. A proposal for Formosa 4 was this week submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the company said. Swancor Renewable jointly developed the Formosa 1 project, a 128 megawatt (MW) wind farm about 4km off Miaoli and the