Factory output declines
The country’s factory output turned down in July as manufacturers cut back on inventory stockpiles, government data showed yesterday. Industrial production slipped 0.8 percent month-on-month after a revised 2.2 percent rise in June, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said. The fall was bigger than expected, with the median forecast by economists coming in at a drop of 0.3 percent in a Bloomberg survey. However, the ministry kept its view that manufacturing activity is on the path to recovery and said the July drop was “small” considering the robust growth in June.
Factory activity improves
The nation’s factory activity gathered steam last month, official data showed yesterday, beating expectations, but not dispelling concerns about the headwinds facing the world’s second-largest economy. The latest purchasing managers’ index, a gauge of factory conditions, came in at 51.7 last month, the National Bureau of Statistics said, up from the 51.4 reading in July. Anything above 50 is considered growth while a figure below points to contraction. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected a reading of 51.3.
Economy rebounds in spring
The economy rebounded sharply in the spring, growing at the fastest pace in more than two years amid brisk consumer spending on cars and other goods. GDP grew at an annual rate of 3 percent in the April-to-June quarter, the Department of Commerce reported on Wednesday. It was the best showing since a 3.2 percent gain in the first quarter of 2015.
Number of poor increases
The government on Wednesday said that about 53.4 million of the nation’s 122 million people were poor last year, compared with 53.3 million in 2012. However, population growth meant the percentage dropped from 45.5 percent in 2012. The number living in extreme poverty who cannot buy even basic items dropped from 9.8 percent of the population in 2012 to 7.6 percent last year. The government’s poverty-measurement agency said that 17.5 percent of people did not have sufficient income to buy enough food, down from 20 percent in 2012.
Lukoil mulls selling unit
Russian oil giant OAO Lukoil is considering selling its Swiss unit Litasco SA because new US sanctions on Russia will make it harder for the Geneva, Switzerland-based energy trader to raise new funds, industry sources said. Lukoil chief executive Vagit Alekperov later confirmed the company was considering selling Litasco. A senior industry source told reporters that Litasco could be sold later this year, possibly as a first step toward divestment of other overseas assets by Lukoil to enable it to focus on tapping fields in Siberia.
HNA sues businessman
HNA Group Co (海航集團) is seeking at least US$300 million from Chinese businessman Guo Wengui (郭文貴) for making defamatory statements tying the company to corruption and alleging it has secret ties to the family of a high-ranking Chinese Communist Party official. In HNA’s complaint, filed on Wednesday with the New York state Supreme Court, the company said Guo’s false allegations are causing harm to the group’s reputation and financial standing.
NO VIRUS BLUES: A SEMI Taiwan official said that the virus does not slow down the global semiconductor industry’s investment in manufacturing equipment The production value of the nation’s semiconductor industry is expected to grow 16.7 percent this year from last year, outpacing the global industry’s 3.3 percent growth, industry association SEMI said yesterday. That would help Taiwan safeguard its second spot in the global semiconductor market with a production value of more than NT$3 trillion (US$102.73 billion), SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) told a media briefing in Taipei for the Semicon Taiwan trade show beginning today. The global semiconductor industry’s production value is expected to increase to US$426 billion this year, SEMI said. In terms of semiconductor equipment investment, equipment billings from Taiwanese firms
Intel Corp has received licenses from US authorities to continue supplying certain products to Huawei Technologies Co (華為), a company spokesman said yesterday. Washington has been pushing governments around to world to squeeze out Huawei, saying that the telecom giant would hand data to Beijing for espionage. From Monday last week, new curbs have barred US companies from supplying or servicing Huawei. This week, the state-backed China Securities Journal reported that Intel had received permission to supply Huawei. China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際), which uses US-origin equipment to make chips for Huawei and other companies, last week confirmed that it had sought
Swancor Renewable Energy Co (上緯新能源) yesterday announced plans for a 4.4 gigawatt (GW) offshore wind project off Miaoli County as part of its commitment toward Taiwan’s energy transformation, the company said in a statement. The “Formosa 4” project includes three deep-water wind farms 18km to 20km off the coast, Swancor Renewable CEO Lucas Lin (林雍堯) said, adding that planning for the project began last year. A proposal for Formosa 4 was this week submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the company said. Swancor Renewable jointly developed the Formosa 1 project, a 128 megawatt (MW) wind farm about 4km off Miaoli and the
INVEST IN TAIWAN: A metal components casting firm and the world’s largest maker of aluminum bicycle rims also obtained approvals to join the program Solar Applied Materials Technology Co (SOLAR, 光洋應用材料), a part of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) “green supply chain,” has pledged to invest NT$1 billion (US$34.1 million) to build a new plant at the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. SOLAR has been collaborating with TSMC to extract precious metals from waste and reuse them as “sputtering target” material in high-end semiconductor manufacturing, a TSMC press release issued in May said. Established in 1978, SOLAR also offers key materials and integrated services to customers in the optoelectronics, information and communications technology, petrochemicals and consumer electronics industries,