Deficit less than predicted
The trade deficit in April increased less than expected, as exports of goods rebounded strongly, suggesting that trade would be a boost to economic growth in the second quarter. The Department of Commerce on Friday said the trade gap rose 5.3 percent to US$37.4 billion. March’s trade deficit was revised down to US$35.5 billion, which was the smallest since December 2013, from the previously reported US$40.4 billion. Overall exports of goods and services rose 1.5 percent to US$182.8 billion in April, while imports of goods rose 2.4 percent to US$178.9 billion in April, pointing to a pickup in domestic demand.
Merchandise gap narrows
The nation’s merchandise trade deficit narrowed to C$2.94 billion (US$2.27 billion) in April from March’s record shortfall, Statistics Canada said on Friday. The deficit was wider than the C$2.5 billion forecast of economists in a Bloomberg survey. Export volumes — a measure that strips out the effect of fluctuating prices — rose 0.5 percent on the month, less than the 0.8 percent increase in imports, indicating net trade will be a drag on growth, economists said. Shipments in and out of Canada increased after declining for two straight months. Exports climbed 1.5 percent to C$41.8 billion, not enough to undo the slide from January’s C$46.1 billion. Imports rose 0.9 percent to C$44.7 billion.
BP to settle Gulf lawsuit
BP PLC on Friday announced that it has agreed to pay US$175 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by investors who accused the oil giant of misleading them about the rate of oil flowing after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. In a brief statement, BP said it would pay the investors over this year and next year. US District Judge Keith Ellison still needs to approve the deal. BP said the agreement does not resolve other securities-related litigation relating to the disaster, which killed 11 workers and poured millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf for 87 days.
Airbnb to probe racism
Airbnb Inc on Friday said it is cracking down on racism after booting one home-sharing host for blatantly discriminating against a woman of color who had made a reservation. A freshly launched review of how hosts and guests interact online and in the real world should be completed by September, when the San Francisco-based start-up is to announce the findings and what it will do about them. Airbnb said that it has enlisted former American Civil Liberties Union head Laura Murphy to lead its discrimination-fighting efforts.
SoftBank sells more shares
SoftBank Group Corp increased the amount of money it will raise from selling down its stake in China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) to US$10 billion, after exercising an option to dispose of more shares through a trust. That is up from a previous figure of US$8.9 billion, which was itself raised by US$1 billion from an initial announcement early last week. SoftBank is selling shares in Alibaba for the first time since first buying in about 16 years ago.
‘BIG LOSS’: This year might see the last generation of Huawei’s Kirin chips, as their production would stop next month because they are made using US technology Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is running out of processor chips to make smartphones due to US sanctions and would be forced to stop production of its own most advanced chips, a company executive has said, in a sign of growing damage to Huawei’s business from US pressure. Huawei, one of the biggest producers of smartphones and network equipment, is at the center of US-Chinese tension over technology and security. Washington last year cut off Huawei’s access to US components and technology, and those penalties were tightened in May, when the White House barred vendors worldwide from using US
CORPORATE SCANDAL: Cathay Life has invested NT$13.3 billion in Bank Mayapada since 2015, but the latest loss of NT$8.8 billion has completely written off its investment Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) yesterday said it would recognize an investment loss of NT$8.8 billion (US$298.1 million) in Indonesia’s Bank Mayapada Internasional Tbk PT due to concerns about the lender’s operations amid a corporate scandal. The company said it would revise its earnings result for June, from a net profit of NT$6.52 billion to a net loss of NT$520 million, its first monthly loss over the past 17 months. After booking an investment loss of NT$5.2 billion in Bank Mayapada earlier this year, Cathay Life has so far recognized total investment losses of NT$14 billion in the lender, executive vice president
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday reported that revenue last month expanded 25 percent annually, but fell 12.8 percent month-on-month to NT$105.96 billion (US$3.59 billion). In the first seven months of this year, the chipmaker’s revenue surged 33.6 percent to NT$727.26 billion, compared with NT$544.46 billion a year earlier. TSMC has said it aims to grow its revenue by more than 20 percent this year. The company has since May 15 stopped taking new orders from Huawei Technologies Co (華為), its second-biggest customer after Apple Inc, due to the US’ restrictions on exports containing US technologies. TSMC has no plans to
INCREASING PRESSURE: Pegatron chief financial officer Louise Wu said the merger would allow them to be more flexible when meeting customer needs Pegatron Corp (和碩), an Apple Inc assembly partner, yesterday said that it would fully absorb metal casing subsidiary Casetek Holdings Ltd (鎧勝) in a NT$14.5 billion (US$490.93 million) deal to improve the companies’ competitiveness in the phone assembly supply chain. When Pegatron and Casetek suspended trading earlier in the day, speculation swirled that a possible purchase by China’s Luxshare Precision Industry Co (立訊精密) might be in the cards, but the announcement of the merger dispelled any conjecture. The board of directories of each company agreed that Pegasus Ace Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pegatron, would purchase Casetek in a reverse triangular