Latin American growth drops
Latin America’s economies, hit by falling investment, are set to grow just 1.1 percent this year — their lowest level in five years, a UN commission on the region said on Tuesday. The poor performance of several of Latin America’s biggest economies dragged down growth across the region, the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean said. Argentina’s economy is set to contract by 0.2 percent this year and Venezuela’s by 3 percent, it said. Brazil’s is set to grow just 0.2 percent.
Brazilian output flat
Brazil’s industrial output was flat in October and down 3.6 percent from the same month last year, the National Statistics Institute reported on Tuesday as the nation braced for a fresh rise in interest rates. The biggest loser was pharmaceuticals, which dropped 9.7 percent. Production of motor vehicles, which was off 2 percent in October, plummeted 18 percent between January and October. Bright spots included foodstuffs, which rose 2.5 percent, and information technology and transport equipment, which posted rises close to 5 percent.
Paris domain name popular
Companies and lovers of the City of Lights snapped up 6,600 “.paris” Internet domain names in just two hours on Tuesday, far exceeding expectations. Deputy Paris Mayor Jean-Louis Missika said the city had a target of selling 10,000 of the domain extensions over the next two years, but now it appears that goal would be largely surpassed. The cost of having a .paris at the end of a Web site address starts at 39 euros (US$48) for one year, with the city getting 40 to 60 percent of the revenue.
Plant being built in Brazil
British auto firm Jaguar Land Rover on Tuesday said it has started building its first fully owned factory outside the UK in the Brazilian town of Itatiaia, near Rio de Janeiro. A state-of-the-art 750 million reais (US$290 million) complex is set to also house an education and business center, the British firm said in a statement. The plant is scheduled to employ 400 workers for production capacity of 24,000 vehicles.
Unilever buys Talenti
Anglo-Dutch food and cosmetics giant Unilever on Tuesday said that it had bought best-selling US-based gelato maker Talenti for an undisclosed amount, boosting its stake in the under-performing ice cream market. Talenti, which boasts 30 flavors, including sea salt caramel and Sicilian pistachio, is expected to have a turnover this year of more than US$120 million, Unilever said in a statement. Founded in 1930, Unilever employs more than 173,000 people worldwide.
Euglena joins TSE
The high-tech titans of Japanese industry yesterday were joined in the major league of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) by a company exploiting the 500-million-year-old science of a single cell organism. Tokyo-based Euglena Co Ltd, named after the euglena micro-algae known in Japanese as midorimushi — or “green bug” — was listed on the first section of the exchange. The firm has been working with technology giant Hitachi Ltd to produce aircraft fuel using the algae, and is cooperating with Isuzu Motors Ltd to develop biodiesel. Euglena shares were down 2.87 percent at ￥1,627 yesterday.
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