Growth short of expectation
The economy is set to grow slightly less than expected this year, the minister of finance said yesterday, in another setback for President Francois Hollande as he weighs a re-election bid. Minister of Finance Michel Sapin said on Europe 1 radio that economic growth of 1.4 percent was “the figure we are working on for this year as an assumption.” Previous forecasts were for 1.5 percent growth for this year. It follows data earlier this week showing unemployment rates increased slightly in the third quarter, as the nation gears up for presidential elections next year.
Mexico raises interest rate
Mexico’s central bank on Thursday decided to raise its interbank interest rate by one-half point to 5.25 percent, citing “a more complex world economic panorama caused by, among other things, the US elections.” The decision was the second time in as many months the Bank of Mexico has raised the rate. In September, it raised the rate a half-point to 4.75 percent, seeking to shore up a weak peso.
Massive job losses reported
About 130,000 people lost their jobs from January to September amid a recession, the government said on Thursday. Companies reported a total of 127,595 job cuts — a 1.5 percent fall in employment overall — the Federal Public Revenues Administration said. Just less than 8 million of the country’s 41 million people were formally employed. President Mauricio Macri has introduced spending cuts and tariff hikes.
Tesla to buy SolarCity
Tesla Motors Inc on Thursday said that shareholders approved a plan to buy “renewable” energy company SolarCity Corp in an overwhelming endorsement of a plan outlined by founder Elon Musk. Not counting votes by Musk, who holds stakes in both companies, more than 85 percent of shareholder votes were cast in favor of the acquisition, according to a statement by Tesla. The deal, valued at US$2.6 billion, is expected to be completed in a matter of days, it said. Tesla has painted the controversial plan as a financially smart move that comes with the benefit of helping protect the planet. Combining the companies would have “significant financial benefits,” the company said.
Clothing sales boost market
Retail sales in the UK rebounded sharply last month on strong clothing demand, official data showed on Thursday. Sales by volume jumped by 1.9 percent in October compared with September, the UK Office for National Statistics said in a statement. That easily outstripped market expectations for an increase of 0.5 percent. Analysts said the impact of Britain’s shock EU exit referendum, held on June 23, had been muted on the high street.
Wal-Mart revenues down
A fall in international sales income for retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc held down total revenues and hit profits in the three months to Oct. 31, the company reported on Thursday. While sales in its main US market rose 2.5 percent over the year-ago quarter, to US$74.6 billion, international sales slumped 4.8 percent to US$28.4 billion. Nevertheless, overall domestic and international revenues from sales and other sources rose a tepid 0.7 percent over a year ago. Net profits fell 8.2 percent year on year to US$3 billion, or US$0.98 a share.
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
BIODEGRADABLE POLYMER: The bank said that its iPass credit card, the first such card issued by a foreign bank, gives it access to stores that do not accept its credit cards DBS Bank Taiwan (星展台灣) yesterday launched its first co-branded credit card with iPass Corp (一卡通票證), and said it expects its credit card business to fully recover in the second half of this year. The new “DBS eco card” is made of polylactic acid — a bio-based biodegradable polymer that can be produced from renewable resources — and is the bank’s first credit card to have the iPass electronic payment function, it said. The partnership would give the bank new business momentum, DBS Bank Taiwan general manager Lim Him-chuan (林鑫川) told a news conference in Taipei. That is because some stores and supermarkets in