Non-oil sector rebounds
Economic activity for the country’s non-oil private sector accelerated the most since 2014, a sign that growth might be recovering after authorities abandoned currency controls and secured a US$12 billion IMF loan deal. The Emirates NBD purchasing managers’ index for the whole economy climbed for the third month in a row to 46.7 last month from 43.3 in January. The new orders sub-index rose to 44 from 39.2. While readings below 50 indicate the economy is still in contraction, the magnitude of the gain signals an improvement in business confidence three months after Egyptian policymakers floated the pound to ease a crippling dollar shortage.
IMF agrees on update
The IMF on Saturday said it had reached an agreement with Ukraine on an updated memorandum under a US$17.5 billion program, paving the way for its board to consider the disbursement of the fourth loan tranche of US$1 billion later this month. “The IMF staff has reached agreement with government authorities on an updated memorandum of economic and financial policies,” IMF Ukraine mission chief Ron van Rooden said in a statement. The country also gets the reprieve of not having to go though the unpopular measure of raising its pension age to get the cash.
Caterpillar sued for fraud
Caterpillar Inc was sued on Friday for allegedly deceiving shareholders about its business, one day after US federal law enforcers raided three of its buildings in connection with a probe into the heavy machinery manufacturer’s offshore tax practices. In a complaint filed in Chicago federal court, Jacob Newman accused Caterpillar of defrauding him and other shareholders in regulatory filings by touting its commitment to good ethics while concealing how it “unlawfully used foreign subsidiaries” to avoid paying billions in US taxes. Newman is seeking unspecified damages in his proposed class-action lawsuit on behalf of Caterpillar investors.
EGA to sell shares
Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), the largest aluminum producer in the Middle East, is preparing to sell shares amid a comeback in commodity prices, according to people familiar with the matter. The United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based company is seeking advisers for a potential initial public offering on the local stock exchange as early as this year, the people said. The UAE agreed to merge its two flagship state aluminum firms in 2013 to create EGA, with an enterprise value of about US$15 billion. EGA said profit last year rose about 10 percent to 2.1 billion dirhams (US$572 million) on record production. Output jumped 4.2 percent to a record 2.5 million tonnes, the company said.
Tourist numbers slip
Tourist arrivals fell 0.4 percent to 197,517 last month for the first time since a nearly three-decade-long civil war ended in May 2009, government data released on Friday showed. It snapped a 93-month streak of tourist increases on the island, popular for its Indian Ocean beaches and varied wildlife. Tourism accounts for about 5 percent of Sri Lanka’s economy. The slight decline was due to inconveniences and long waiting times at its main airport, which currently closes eight hours a day for runaway renovations, analysts said. The airport is due to open again early next month.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
‘ONE-STOCK SHOW’: Turnover hit an all-time high as TSMC continued to determine the local market’s direction and surpassed Visa in market capitalization The TAIEX early yesterday hit an all-time intraday high on the back of soaring Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) shares, before tumbling back to the previous day’s close as the contract chipmaker could not single-handedly prop up the index. The TAIEX rose more than 400 points in the first 20 minutes of trading to hit a record 13,031.7 points, but later pared its gains to close down 0.01 percent at 12,586.73. Turnover was NT$343.252 billion (US$11.63 billion), the highest in the Taiwan Stock Exchange’s history. TSMC continued to dictate the market’s direction, as its early surge by the daily