Q1 growth rate moderate
The nation’s economy grew a “moderate” 0.5 percent in the first quarter, official data showed yesterday, falling short of market expectations as the construction sector slowed. The GDP figure just missed analysts’ predictions of an 0.7 percent rise and was well off the central bank’s 0.9 percent forecast. Statistics New Zealand said the result put growth for the 12 months to March 31 at 3 percent. Construction was down 2.1 percent for the quarter, partially offset by a 4.3 percent rise in agriculture, it said.
UK jobless at 42-year low
Wages in Britain are falling in real terms, but the unemployment rate remains at a 42-year low, official data showed on Wednesday. Average weekly earnings, adjusted for inflation and excluding bonuses, slid 0.6 percent in the three months to April from a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics said. That was the largest drop since August 2014.
Western Digital seeks block
Western Digital Corp asked a court in California for an order blocking the sale of the chip unit of Toshiba Corp, its partner in a manufacturing joint venture. The US company is trying to stop Toshiba from transferring joint ventures that they have together in preparation for a sale, it said on Wednesday. It has asked a San Francisco state court to keep the sale on hold while it pursues arbitration. Meanwhile, KKR & Co and Bain Capital LP are vying for support from the Japanese government in their efforts to acquire Toshiba’s semiconductor division, the sources said.
Singapore home sales fall
Singapore home sales fell 34 percent last month as fewer new projects were launched. Developers sold 1,024 units last month, compared with a revised 1,558 in April, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority data released yesterday. A total of 339 new properties were offered, down from 1,616 in April, the data showed. Home values have dropped 11.6 percent from their 2013 peak.
EU launches investigations
EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager yesterday launched probes into whether Nike Inc, Universal Studios and Sanrio Co’s Hello Kitty illegally blocked retailers from selling merchandise across bloc borders. The European Commission “is investigating whether Nike, Sanrio and Universal Studios are restricting cross-border and online sales of merchandising products,” Vestager said on Wednesday. The probe involves a whole range of products, such as clothes, shoes, bags or toys featuring some of the world’s biggest brands and characters.
German arrested in Tokyo
A German executive working at Volkswagen AG’s Tokyo office has been arrested on drug charges, Volkswagen Group Japan KK said yesterday. Thomas Siebert, 53, was detained on Wednesday on suspicion of using an unspecified drug, it said, with media reports suggesting it was cocaine. “We deeply regret the fact that an employee of our company has been taken into police custody for a personal matter,” it said. “We will fully cooperate during the investigation.” Authorities started investigating Siebert after customs officers found what was believed to be an illegal drug mailed to his Tokyo address, media reports said. His urine tested positive for drugs and Siebert has reportedly admitted to using cocaine, the reports said.
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