Consumer confidence dives
Consumer confidence fell at the fastest pace in 22 years after last month’s decision by voters to leave the EU, according to a survey by market research company GfK cited by the Daily Telegraph newspaper. The survey said consumer morale fell to minus nine in the aftermath of the June 23 vote down from minus one in its previous monthly survey, representing the biggest drop in confidence since December 1994.
Trade surplus shrinks
The trade surplus shrank in May as exports declined unexpectedly, official data showed on Friday, pointing to possible clouds on the horizon for Europe’s biggest economy. Exports declined by 1.8 percent to 99.5 billion euros (US$110 billion) in seasonally adjusted terms in May, according to data published by the federal statistics office Destatis. At the same time, imports edged up by 0.1 percent to 77.4 billion euros. That meant that the trade surplus contracted sharply to 22.2 billion euros in May from 24.1 billion euros in April, the statisticians calculated.
Government to sell stakes
The government has invited bids from bankers for sale of its stakes in companies such as ITC Ltd, Larsen & Toubro Ltd and Axis Bank Ltd, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi looks to boost revenues and shrink Asia’s widest budget deficit. Holding company Specified Undertaking of Unit Trust of India will appoint as many as three merchant bankers to advise on transactions involving 51 companies over three years, it said on its Web site. The government has not set a target for such sales.
Beijing pushes for closures
Beijing has threatened to punish regional governments for failing to close unneeded coal mines and steel mills. Provincial governments must set capacity reduction targets by Friday next week and submit detailed phase-out plans by the end of this month, said Xu Shaoshi (徐紹史), chairman of National Development and Reform Commission, the nation’s top economic planner, according to a report by official Xinhua News Agency. About 800,000 coal and steel jobs are expected to be cut this year, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said separately on Friday.
Car sales pick up
Passenger-vehicle sales expanded at a faster pace in the first half, as rising demand for SUVs and new-energy vehicles widened the nation’s lead as the world’s biggest car market. Retail sales of cars, sport utility vehicles and multipurpose vehicles climbed 9.5 percent to 10.8 million units in the January to June period, according to the China Passenger Car Association. One segment that was an exception to the growth trend was mini commercial vehicles, with sales falling 34 percent to 374,208 units in the first half.
Theranos CEO banned
Theranos Inc’s chief executive officer Elizabeth Holmes was banned for two years from owning or operating laboratories as part of US regulators’ sanctions against the troubled blood-testing start-up. The once high-flying Silicon Valley start-up was also penalized for an undisclosed amount and lost its eligibility to get payments from federal health insurance programs for lab services, according to a statement on Thursday from Theranos.
Polytronics Technology Corp (聚鼎科技) yesterday announced that it is buying Henkel AG’s thermal clad dielectric material (TCLAD) business division for US$26 million as the Taiwanese firm aims to improve its technology, product portfolio and revenue performance. Polytronics, headquartered in the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), is a supplier of protection components and heat dissipation materials. The firm entered the metallic heat-dissipation substrate market in 2007 and developed a unique solventless production process. Its board of directors approved signing an agreement with Henkel to acquire the German chemical firm’s TCLAD division in the US. The purchase includes all assets and business interests, including equipment,
ELECTRIC FARMLAND: TSMC’s proposal to clear 230 hectares of reforested land for what would become Taiwan’s largest photovoltaic solar farm has generated concerns New rules curbing solar farms built on agricultural land sparked fierce debate at a packed public hearing at the Legislative Yuan yesterday, with industry representatives saying that the new restrictions would endanger President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) green energy goals, while agricultural officials emphasized the importance of protecting farmers and the environment. The Tsai administration has set a target to generate 20 percent of the nation’s power from renewable sources by 2025, by which time it also aims to install 20 gigawatts (GW) of solar power, including 6GW from rooftop solar systems and 14GW from ground-mounted solar farms. Although rooftop solar systems are
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday posted monthly revenue that suggested second-quarter sales surpassed analysts’ estimates, underscoring how its technological lead is helping the chipmaker weather the COVID-19 pandemic and US sanctions on its second-biggest customer Huawei Technologies Co (華為). Apple Inc’s main iPhone chipmaker posted sales of NT$120.88 billion (US$4.08 billion) for last month, up 40.8 percent year-on-year and bringing its revenue for the second quarter to NT$310.7 billion, beating the NT$308.8 billion analysts expected on average. TSMC, a barometer for the industry thanks to its heft in the global supply chain, had previously lowered its revenue outlook for this
‘SENSITIVE MARKETS’: The previously unannounced project would involve the company handing over control of data to a third party to sidestep privacy concerns Google has abandoned plans to offer a major new cloud service in China and other politically sensitive countries due in part to concerns over geopolitical tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic, two employees familiar with the matter said, revealing the challenges for US tech giants to secure business in those markets. In May, the search giant shut down the initiative, known as “Isolated Region” and which sought to address nations’ desires to control data within their borders, the employees said. The action was considered a “massive strategy shift,” said one of the employees, who added that Isolated Region had involved hundreds of employees