China industrial output rises
China’s industrial production rose 7.2 percent year-on-year last month, the government said yesterday. The figure missed market expectations of 7.5 percent, according to Dow Jones Newswires. Retail sales, a key indicator of consumer spending, rose 11.7 percent in the same month, while fixed-asset investment, a measure of government spending on infrastructure, expanded 15.8 percent year-on-year in the first 11 months, China’s National Bureau of Statistics said. The data follow other figures suggesting a softening in Chinese growth. Last Monday, official figures showed that export growth slowed sharply last month, while imports fell.
US household wealth down
US households’ net worth slipped in the third quarter as a drop in stock prices overwhelmed a solid gain in home values. Household wealth declined 0.2 percent in the July-September quarter to US$81.3 trillion, the US Federal Reserve said on Thursday. Americans’ stock and mutual fund portfolios fell US$700 billion. The value of their homes increased US$245 billion. The slight drop comes after US household wealth rose to a record high in the second quarter.
BHP sees ore under US$100
The world’s biggest miner, BHP Billiton, says iron ore prices are unlikely to rise above US$100 a tonne again, as the commodity trades at five-year lows amid a supply glut and weak Chinese demand. Iron ore prices have slumped about 40 percent this year as output from resources giants like BHP, Rio Tinto and Vale increases, hurting higher-cost producers. A year ago, iron ore fetched about US$135 a tonne, but it is now below US$70.
Sanofi to start Saudi plant
French drugmaker Sanofi will start commercial production early next year from a factory in Saudi Arabia, a spokeswoman said on Thursday. After product testing and regulatory approval “the first commercial batches” should be available in February, Sanofi communications manager for Saudi Arabia Rajiah Meir told reporters. On Wednesday, the company formally inaugurated its factory at King Abdullah Economic City, an industrial and residential development on the Red Sea. The plant will initially produce antibiotics, cardiovascular drugs, diabetic medication and medicine to protect against blood clots.
Adobe sales beat estimates
Adobe Systems Inc on Thursday reported fiscal fourth-quarter revenue that topped estimates, as the software maker pushed deeper into delivering programs via the Web to expand its business, an effort bolstered by a deal to buy stock-photography provider Fotolia LLC for about US$800 million. Sales in the period ended Nov. 28 were US$1.07 billion and profit before certain items was US$0.36 a share, Adobe said in a statement. The Fotolia deal is aimed at enhancing Creative Cloud and is Adobe’s third-biggest acquisition in the past decade.
Qantas CEOs resign
Qantas Airways Ltd yesterday said that the heads of its two main divisions, international and domestic, “decided to leave” the Australian carrier, four days after the airline said it expects to swing back to profitability. Qantas international CEO Simon Hickey and Qantas domestic CEO Lyell Strambi will leave as the firm takes a “flatter” executive structure, Qantas said.
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