Sector registers ‘yellow-blue’
The local manufacturing sector was “yellow-blue” in April for the second consecutive month, while the index that gauges the climate of the sector dropped from the previous month, the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER, 台灣經濟研究院) said yesterday. The institute uses a five-color system to indicate domestic economic activity, with “yellow-blue” suggesting sluggish growth. The institute said that the composite index for the local manufacturing sector fell 0.33 points in April from a month earlier to 10.58 and remained “yellow-blue,” or between 10.5 and 13 points. The fall indicated that growth decelerated for export orders, industrial production and bilateral trade, TIER said.
Transaction activity rises
Housing transactions in the six major municipalities — Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung — increased by between 5 percent and 23 percent last month from the previous month, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported yesterday, citing data compiled by local-government agencies. Transactions in Kaohsiung increased by 23 percent from April, outperforming the other special municipalities, the report said. Transactions in Taipei increased by 21 percent month-on-month and showed the second-highest growth among the six cities. Overall transactions in the municipalities were 17,600 units last month, an increase of 15.8 percent from April, the report said. The figure represented the highest level of the year due to favorable prices, but it remained 1 percent lower than a year earlier, it said.
First Financial rated ‘neutral’
Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co (元大投顧) on Thursday gave a “neutral” outlook for state-run First Financial Holding Co (第一金控) due to a lack of clear earnings growth catalysts for its flagship banking unit this year. The unlikelihood of an interest-rate hike in the second half of this year has ruled out significant growth momentum for First Commercial Bank (第一銀行), as domestic loans make up 80 percent of the lender’s loan book, Yuanta analyst Peggy Shih (施姵帆) wrote in a note to clients. In addition, the lender’s low proportion of foreign-currency-denominated loans would benefit little from the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes, Shih said. First Financial has announced plans to distribute a cash dividend of NT$1.2 per share, translating to a payout of 83 percent, up from 65 percent the previous year.
Apple speaker expected
Apple Inc is preparing to launch a connected speaker to serve as a “smart” home assistant in a challenge to Amazon Echo and Google Home, a report said on Thursday. The speaker, powered by Apple’s digital assistant Siri, might be unveiled at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference in Silicon Valley, California, next week, Bloomberg News reported. The new device — speculation about which has been swirling for months — could entice software makers to tailor applications or services for a broader array of Apple hardware, the report said. Like Echo and Home devices gaining traction in the market, an Apple home assistant could let people control lights and appliances, and interact with the Internet using voice commands. Apple did not reply to a request for comment.
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
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
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
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