US posts 3.7% GDP growth
The US economy staged a far bigger rebound last quarter than first thought, outpacing the rest of the developed world and bolstering confidence that it can remain sturdy in coming months despite global headwinds. The GDP expanded at an annual rate of 3.7 percent in the April-June quarter, the Commerce Department reported on Thursday. That is more than a percentage point greater than the initial 2.3 percent estimate and a sharp upgrade from the anemic 0.6 percent advance during the January-March quarter.
Swiss avoid recession
Switzerland unexpectedly avoided a recession last quarter as investment and private consumption helped return the economy to growth. GDP increased 0.2 percent in the three months through June, after a contraction of 0.2 percent in the previous quarter, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in Bern said yesterday. Equipment and software investment increased 1.5 percent in the second quarter compared with the previous three months, while exports of goods excluding non-monetary gold, valuables and merchanting rose 0.5 percent, figures showed.
UK service industry grows
Growth across UK services companies surged this month, adding to signs that the strong pace of economic upturn has continued into the second half of this year, a business survey showed on yesterday. The Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) survey showed the biggest influx of work for business and professional services companies since records started in 1998, while conditions for consumer services companies also improved. “Companies are still looking to invest in people and capital, especially in IT which will help them exploit new technology and boost productivity,” the CBI said.
Nestle tied to slave labor
Swiss food giant Nestle SA is being sued in the US for allegedly knowingly allowing its Fancy Feast cat food to contain fish from a Thai supplier that uses slave labor. Pet food buyers who filed the class action lawsuit on Thursday in US federal court in Los Angeles seek to represent all California consumers of Fancy Feast who would not have purchased the product had they known it had ties to slave labor. Nestle lists protection of human rights as one of its Corporate Business Principles.
Sachs Korea closes
Goldman Sachs Group Inc completed the winding down of its asset-management business in South Korea, as a regulator approved closing the last remaining part of it. Almost three years after Goldman Sachs Asset Management Korea Co announced its plans to exit and after a name change to Goldman Sachs Investment Advisory Co, the business was shuttered on Friday last week, according to a statement on the Financial Services Commission’s Web site.
Huarong approved for IPO
China Huarong Asset Management Co (中國華融資產管理), the nation’s biggest bad-loan manager, received Hong Kong stock exchange approval for an initial public offering, people with knowledge of the matter said. The Beijing-based company plans to seek about US$2 billion from the share sale, they said. It might start gauging demand for the offering early next month, the people said.
ELECTRONICS Lite-On delays sale of unit Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations. AUTO PARTS Hiroca approves dividend Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca
NOT ALL GOOD: Analysts warned that other data for last month might be less rosy due to the virus and analysts expect the PMI to contract again next month Chinese factory activity saw surprise growth last month as businesses went back to work following a lengthy shutdown, but analysts said that the economy faces a challenging recovery as external demand has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the World Bank said that growth could screech to a halt. China is slowly returning to life after months of tough restrictions aimed at containing the virus, which put millions of people into virtual house arrest and brought economic activity to a near standstill. The strict measures saw a closely watched gauge of manufacturing plunge to its lowest level on record in February,
ALL ABOUT STRATEGY: The company is optimistic, saying that its gross margin should increase year-on-year, but it is scaling back on its plans to expand capacity Quang Viet Enterprise Co (QVE, 廣越), which makes down jackets and garments for sportswear and outdoor brands including Adidas AG, yesterday said that revenue might drop 5 to 10 percent annually this year as some customers trimmed orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That would mark its first revenue decline since 2016. Quang Viet posted record-high revenue of NT$16.26 billion (US$537.45 million) last year, up 22 percent from 2018. Down jackets made up 40 percent of it revenue last year. North Face Inc and Patagonia Inc are this year likely to reduce orders by 20 to 30 percent from a
Taipei 101, one of the nation’s leading shopping centers, is planning to reduce its business hours due to decreased demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Taipei 101 is to open daily at noon and close at 9pm from April 6, building management said in a statement on Monday. The shopping center has been opening at 11am and closing at 9:30pm from Sunday to Thursday, while closing at 10pm on Friday and Saturday. The restaurants in the food court — on the basement level — would adjust their business hours as necessary, but the supermarket would continue to open at 9am daily, management said. The shopping