Budget surplus reported
The nation notched up a record budget surplus in the first half of the year, official figures showed yesterday. All levels of government — federal, regional and municipal — took in a combined 18.3 billion euros (US$21.6 billion) more than they spent, data from federal statistics authority Destatis showed. Government revenue from taxes, social contributions and other sources amounted to 724 billion euros, a 4.3 percent increase on the same period last year. Spending grew at the same pace, adding 4.3 percent to reach 705 billion euros. With GDP in the first half of the year at 1.6 trillion euros, the budget surplus stood at about 1.1 percent of GDP.
Consumer prices rise
Consumer prices rose for the seventh straight month last month, chiefly due to energy costs, government data showed yesterday. After stripping out the volatile cost of fresh food, the inflation rate came in at 0.5 percent, in line with market expectations, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Excluding fresh food and energy, prices edged up just 0.1 percent last month. The figures are still way off the Bank of Japan’s inflation target of 2 percent — which is seen as crucial to conquering Japan’s long struggle to slay deflation.
Flyadeal to start operations
Saudi Arabia’s new budget carrier Flyadeal on Thursday said it would start flying next month, as the kingdom seeks to expand air services to boost tourism in an overhaul of its oil-dependent economy. Flyadeal, a subsidiary of the state-owned Saudi Arabian Airlines Corp, is to operate a fleet of eight Airbus A320ceo aircraft and initially fly domestic routes before expanding in the Middle East. The airline said it would commence operations on the Saudi National Day on Sept. 23, with the entire fleet expected to be delivered by the middle of next year.
Spotify, Warner ink deal
Spotify Ltd signed a new global agreement with Warner Music Group, giving the online-music pioneer long-term deals with all three major record labels as it prepares to go public. Warner Music announced the deal on Thursday via social media. Terms were not disclosed. Spotify, the biggest on-demand streaming service with more than 60 million paying subscribers, plans to skip a traditional share sale and list directly on the New York Stock Exchange late this year or early next year, people familiar with the matter said. Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group and Sony Corp’s music division signed new accords with Spotify earlier this year.
US charges managers
US authorities have charged two managers at French bank Societe Generale with taking part in a scheme to manipulate the global US dollar LIBOR benchmark interest rate. Danielle Sindzingre, 54, the bank’s former global head of treasury, and her subordinate Muriel Bescond, 49, its former head of treasury in Paris, were accused in an indictment filed in a New York federal court of submitting false information about the rates at which the bank was able to borrow money. The two defendants are not in the US and John Marzulli, a spokesman for US prosecutors in Brooklyn, declined to comment on whether or when they might be extradited.
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