Domestic business leaders yesterday sounded their support for the continuation of “defensive currency devaluation” to boost the nation’s lagging exports as the New Taiwan dollar plunged to NT$33.453 against the US dollar, the weakest in about six-and-a-half years. Chinese National Federation of Industries (全國工業總會) secretary-general Tsai Lien-sheng (蔡練生) said that the drop was appropriate and applauded the central bank’s decision, while urging regulators to further weaken the currency to NT$33.5 against the greenback. Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry (台灣機械工業同業公會) chairman Alex Ko (柯拔希) also proposed that the local currency be devalued to a range between NT$34 and NT$36 against the dollar.
DTZ forecasts downturn
Taipei properties may be at the beginning of an eight-year downturn, said Billy Yen (顏炳立), Taipei-based general manager of DTZ, a global real-estate service provider yesterday. He said that the real-estate market is expected to remain tepid this year, with luxury home prices in prime areas anticipated to fall by 10 percent, while homes in less desirable districts may fall 15 percent. Sellers may have to offer a steeper discount of up to 30 percent before prospective buyers return to the market, he said.
Makalot sales rise 11.8%
Makalot Industrial Co (聚陽), a garment manufacturer for global clothing brands, yesterday reported that sales throughout last year rose 11.8 percent to NT$23.36 billion, a new record high. Looking ahead, the company said that its production will be running at near-capacity in the first quarter, and 40 percent of capacity for the second quarter has been filled. In addition, the company is to benefit from additional growth momentum as major US brands, such as Gap and Old Navy, launch their respective sports apparel lines.
Banks face TRF exposure
The Financial Supervisory Commission yesterday said that domestic banks are facing increasing exposure to yuan-denominated target redemption forwards (TRF) amid a sharp tumble in the strength of the Chinese currency. With contract prices of most TRFs set at a range between 6.3 yuan to 6.5 yuan against the US dollar, domestic banks selling the derivative instrument are facing NT$200 billion in total refundable deposit exposure this month, the commission said. A second TRF crisis since August last year may be on the horizon, the commission said. Banks are required to raise their refundable deposits against possible defaults of TRFs held by their clients. The yuan yesterday fell as low as 6.5 against the greenback.
Occupancy rates fall 2.7%
In the January-to-November period of last year, Taipei’s hotel and lodging occupancy rate declined for the first time in five years, CBRE Taiwan said yesterday. The figure dropped 2.7 percent year-on-year to 74.9 percent, the local branch of the US property consultancy said. Despite the decline, the company found that lodging capacity and room prices had risen 3.3 percent to 110,000 rooms and 0.7 percent to NT$4,532 per night respectively. The company advised hotel operators to differentiate themselves by offering distinctive dining experiences to attract more consumers.
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
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
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
’WHITE BOX’: The open platform would give local firms access to Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop 5G telecom equipment and tap into the global market The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday introduced a new 5G “open lab” in collaboration with US-based information technology and networking giant Cisco Systems Inc to address the rapidly growing “white box” 5G networking equipment market. The open lab will be a platform where Taiwanese manufacturers can access Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop their own 5G telecom equipment, such as small-cell base stations, network switches, modems and Internet of things (IoT) devices, a ministry statement said. The open platform would allow Taiwanese manufacturers to tap into the lucrative 5G telecom equipment market, which was previously monopolized by Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB