Household spending up 1.2%
Household spending rose 1.2 percent last month from the same month last year, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications data showed yesterday, the first gain since August last year. The result surprised economists, who had foreseen a 1.9 percent decline, according to a Bloomberg market forecast. However, economists likely overlooked the positive effect of the extra day last month due to the Leap Year, NLI Research Institute senior economist Taro Saito said. Separate economic data released yesterday showed Japan’s jobless rate came in at 3.3 percent last month, slightly worse from 3.2 percent in the previous month.
Consumer activity down
Consumers withdrew and spent less money last month, according to central bank data released on Monday. M3, one of the broadest measures of money supply, shrank for the first time since at least 2000, when Bloomberg started tracking the data. Cash withdrawals through ATMs fell 8 percent after expanding for at least the previous five months, central bank data show. Point-of-sale transactions, an indicator of consumer confidence in the economy, dropped 9 percent from the year-earlier period to 15.2 billion riyals (US$4.1 billion). The kingdom’s growth may slow to 1.5 percent this year, according to the median estimate of a Bloomberg survey, the slowest pace since at least 2009.
Wal-Mart wins ruling
Wal-Mart Stores Inc has won a legal victory in a fight over tax revenue with the government of Puerto Rico. A federal judge in the US island territory ruled on Monday that a modified tangible-property tax is invalid. The retail giant filed the suit in December last year and is Puerto Rico’s largest private employer. Federal Judge Jose Antonio Fuste also said in his ruling that the government needs to be more transparent and that Puerto Ricans deserve to know the truth about how the economic crisis originated. The Puerto Rican Department of Justice is considering whether to appeal the decision.
Dell to sell Perot Systems
Dell Inc has agreed to sell its Perot Systems subsidiary, which provides information technology services to hospitals and governments, to the Japanese technology company NTT Data Corp for almost US$3.1 billion. NTT Data disclosed the agreement with Dell in a filing with the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Monday. It did not say when it intended to complete the acquisition. Dell bought Perot Systems, founded by the entrepreneur and onetime presidential candidate Ross Perot, for US$3.9 billion in 2009 as it tried to expand beyond its struggling core business of making personal computers. However, now Dell is shedding peripheral units and raising cash as it prepares to take over EMC Corp.
Elaine Wynn files suit
Elaine Wynn, the ex-wife of Wynn Resorts Ltd founder Steve Wynn, filed suit in a Nevada state court seeking to gain control over her shareholdings in the casino company. Chief executive officer Steve Wynn breached their January 2010 stockholder agreement, Elaine Wynn said on Monday in a statement. She accused her ex-husband of orchestrating her ouster from the board in retaliation for asking questions about the “tone at the top,” the absence of appropriate internal controls, the withholding of information from the board and alleged reckless activity of the CEO and others.
HEAVY INVESTMENT: Moody’s affirmed the firm’s ‘Aa3’ rating with a ‘stable’ outlook due to its leading position in the industry and ability to match customer requirements Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) revenue this year is expected to increase about 21 percent to NT$1.29 trillion (US$44.01 billion) from NT$1.07 trillion last year, driven by strong demand for advanced 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips mainly used in smartphones and high-performance computing devices, a Moody’s Investors Service report on Wednesday said. TSMC’s rate of revenue growth next year is to increase to 7.5 percent, the ratings agency said. The company, which supplies 5-nanometer chips for Apple Inc’s new iPad series, has introduced the advanced chips ahead of its competitors and gained a significant share of the market for the foundry industry’s
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
Taipei Times: When do you think the hospitality industry can return to how it was before the COVID-19 pandemic? How does Formosa International Hotels Group (FIH, 晶華酒店集團) fare this quarter and beyond? FIH chairman Steve Pan (潘思亮): The virus outbreak will have a serious impact on business travel, driven mainly by meetings, incentive travel, conferences and exhibitions over the past three decades. For the past six months, many businesspeople have grown used to exchanging information on the Internet, where more people can participate. The trend might sustain for three to five years until people are vaccinated and it is safe to