Eurozone economy slows
A closely watched survey shows that the economy of the 19-nation eurozone lost momentum last month, as businesses fretted over the potential impact of a series of political uncertainties. Financial information company Markit yesterday said that its purchasing managers’ index, a broad gauge of economic activity, dropped to a 20-month low of 52.6 points last month from 52.9 in August. As anything above 50 indicates expansion, Markit said its index indicates the eurozone economy grew by a muted quarterly rate of 0.3 percent in the third quarter.
Sweden unfazed by job cuts
Sweden’s government will not intervene in Ericsson AB’s plan to cut thousands of jobs, confident the expanding economy can withstand the loss of key manufacturing sites. While Ericsson’s plan to eliminate 3,000 jobs in Sweden is “heartbreaking,” it comes at a time when the economy is “strong,” Swedish Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Mikael Damberg said on Tuesday. The government last month predicted the economy would expand 3.5 percent this year, after 4.2 percent growth last year. Unemployment is expected to fall to 6.3 percent next year from about 6.8 percent this year, it said.
NN to buy Delta Lloyd
NN Group has offered to buy local competitor Delta Lloyd NV for 2.4 billion euros (US$2.7 billion) to boost its scale in the pensions and insurance sectors, a proposal that Delta Lloyd has so far rebuffed. NN intends to offer 5.30 euros per share for Amsterdam-based Delta Lloyd, it said yesterday. That represents a premium of 29 percent to Delta Lloyd’s closing share price on Tuesday, it said. Delta Lloyd has not yet accepted NN’s approaches to discuss its proposal and negotiate a recommended transaction.
Barclays sells Egyptian unit
Barclays PLC agreed to sell its Egyptian business to Morocco’s Attijariwafa Bank as the British firm shrinks its global operations and speeds up the sale of unwanted assets. The deal is likely to be completed by the end of this year, Barclays said in a statement on Tuesday. The disposal will boost the bank’s common equity Tier 1 ratio by 0.1 percentage point, reducing risk-weighted assets by about ￡2 billion (US$2.6 billion). Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Vancouver home sales fall
Vancouver home sales fell 33 percent last month, the most since 2010, adding to evidence measures taken by the provincial government to curb price gains are working. Sales in the Pacific coast city dropped to 2,253 in the month, from 3,345 a year earlier, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said on Tuesday. It was the largest decrease since 2010 and comes after British Columbia imposed a 15 percent tax, which took effect in August, on purchases by foreigners. Sales were also down 9.5 percent on the month, the real-estate board said.
MBK, TPG to buy Wharf T&T
A consortium of MBK Partners and TPG Capital agreed to acquire Internet provider Wharf T&T Ltd, owned by billionaire Peter Woo’s (吳光正) Wharf Holdings Ltd (九龍倉), for HK$9.5 billion (US$1.2 billion). The all-cash deal for the business, which provides fixed-line services to mostly corporate clients in Hong Kong, should be completed next month, the Hong Kong conglomerate said on Tuesday in a statement.
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
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
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