Qatar forecasts deficit
Qatar could run its first budget deficit in 15 years next year, the Qatari Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics said yesterday in a statement. The ministry said that the Gulf state’s economy will grow by 7.3 percent next year, down from its previous estimate of 7.7 percent, but still above growth last year of just over 6 percent. Qatar expects to run a fiscal deficit of 4.9 percent of GDP next year and 3.7 percent the following year, the ministry said.
Turkey sees GDP growth
Turkey’s economy grew faster than expected during the first quarter of the year as domestic demand gained speed. GDP expanded 2.3 percent in the January-to-March period, compared with 2.6 percent during the previous quarter, the statistics agency said yesterday. Seasonally-adjusted output was 1.3 percent from the previous quarter. Household demand, which makes up roughly two-thirds of GDP, grew 4.5 percent during the first quarter compared with 2.4 percent during the preceding three-month period.
Facebook hails Messenger
Facebook on Tuesday celebrated that an Android version of its Messenger app has been downloaded more than a billion times from the Google Play store. “Happy to make it to the very exclusive Android 1 billion+ downloads club,” Messenger team head David Marcus said in an online post. A chat forum on Messenger’s page at Google Play was rich with accolades, but peppered with comment that the high download count was driven by Facebook spinning the widely used service out of the social network, compelling people to get the app.
Bayer selling diabetes unit
German pharmaceuticals and chemicals giant Bayer AG yesterday said that it has agreed to sell its diabetes care business to Panasonic Healthcare Holdings Co for 1.022 billion euros (US$1.2 billion). Panasonic Healthcare Holdings is 80 percent owned by US investor KKR, with Panasonic Corp holding 20 percent. “Closing of the transaction is subject to customary conditions, including relevant antitrust clearance, and is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2016,” Bayer said in a statement.
Airlines urge end to APD
Abolishing its tax on air travel could boost Britain’s economy by 1.7 percent by 2020, British Airways and easyJet said yesterday, calling on the government to go beyond recent concessions on the duty. A study by PwC, commissioned by the airlines, found scrapping air passenger duty (APD) would lift GDP by about 0.5 percent in the first year and by 1.7 percent by 2020, with tax receipts from other sources more than offsetting the revenues lost from APD.
Infrastructure plan unveiled
Brazil on Tuesday announced a US$64 billion infrastructure spending package, hoping to revive its flagging economy with investment in highways, railroads, ports and airports. The government said more than one-third of the new spending, 69.2 billion reals (US$22.3 billion), would come by the end of 2018, with the remaining 129.2 billion reals laid out starting in 2019. The government forecasts a contraction of 1.2 percent in GDP growth this year.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
‘ONE-STOCK SHOW’: Turnover hit an all-time high as TSMC continued to determine the local market’s direction and surpassed Visa in market capitalization The TAIEX early yesterday hit an all-time intraday high on the back of soaring Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) shares, before tumbling back to the previous day’s close as the contract chipmaker could not single-handedly prop up the index. The TAIEX rose more than 400 points in the first 20 minutes of trading to hit a record 13,031.7 points, but later pared its gains to close down 0.01 percent at 12,586.73. Turnover was NT$343.252 billion (US$11.63 billion), the highest in the Taiwan Stock Exchange’s history. TSMC continued to dictate the market’s direction, as its early surge by the daily
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion