Manufacturing index rises
Factories expanded at a brisk pace last month, a likely sign of strength for the US economy as new orders, production and employment all improved. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) on Friday said that its manufacturing index rose to 58.8 percent from 56.3 percent in July. Anything above 50 signals that factory activity is increasing. The measure now stands at its highest level since April 2011, pointing to solid economic growth. Fourteen of eighteen manufacturing industries surveyed by ISM posted growth, including the machinery, petroleum and coal products, and computer and electronic products sectors.
Tinder Apple’s top seller
Tinder for the first time became the top-grossing app in Apple Inc’s online shop, topping the likes of Netflix, Pandora and hit mobile games like Clash Royale, according to rankings posted online by market data firm App Annie on Friday. The company announced this week the worldwide roll-out of a new “Gold” service with features including the ability of subscribers to see who out there has “liked” them. Tinder Gold is to be available on Android-powered smartphones in about a month.
Foxconn US plant vote set
The Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee is set to vote this week on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s US$3 billion incentive package for a Foxconn Technology Group (富士康) plant. The committee issued a notice on Friday saying a vote is set for Tuesday. The Wisconsin State Assembly has already passed the bill; committee approval would set up a State Senate vote. The committee also is scheduled to finish the state budget Tuesday but it is unclear if that will happen. Republicans are still trying to reach consensus on how to shore up a nearly US$1 billion shortfall in the state’s transportation fund.
OIL AND GAS
Iraqi exports slip slightly
Iraq’s oil exports slipped to 3.216 million barrels per day (bpd) last month from 3.230 million bpd in July, as no shipments were made from the northern Kirkuk field, the Iraqi Ministry of Oil said yesterday. All the volumes shipped last month came from the southern fields, it said in a statement. Kirkuk is the only field supervised by the government in the north. The volume accounts for shipments from the fields supervised by the central government in Baghdad and does not include those from the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq. The average sales price last month was US$46.22 per barrel, generating US$4.6 billion in revenue.
Merrill Lynch pays US$415m
Bank of America Corp’s Merrill Lynch unit paid US$415 million last year to resolve allegations that it misused customers’ cash. On Friday, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) finally settled a case against the former bank executive who it said was ultimately responsible. His penalty was considerably lower: Nothing. Former Merrill Lynch head of regulatory reporting William Tirrell negligently caused the firm to violate securities rules, the SEC said in an order on Friday. The regulator ordered Tirrell to “cease and desist” from any future transgressions.
HEAVY INVESTMENT: Moody’s affirmed the firm’s ‘Aa3’ rating with a ‘stable’ outlook due to its leading position in the industry and ability to match customer requirements Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) revenue this year is expected to increase about 21 percent to NT$1.29 trillion (US$44.01 billion) from NT$1.07 trillion last year, driven by strong demand for advanced 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips mainly used in smartphones and high-performance computing devices, a Moody’s Investors Service report on Wednesday said. TSMC’s rate of revenue growth next year is to increase to 7.5 percent, the ratings agency said. The company, which supplies 5-nanometer chips for Apple Inc’s new iPad series, has introduced the advanced chips ahead of its competitors and gained a significant share of the market for the foundry industry’s
Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控) yesterday said that its insurance unit would adjust its investment portfolio after being banned from buying new stocks a day earlier by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC). “We will research what we can do based on the commission’s specific instructions after we receive the regulator’s formal documents,” Shin Kong Financial spokesman Sunny Hsu (徐順鋆) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The commission on Tuesday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$941,722) for reckless investment, and demanded that the insurer reduce its overseas investment ratio from 43 percent to 39 percent. The fine would affect
Taipei Times: When do you think the hospitality industry can return to how it was before the COVID-19 pandemic? How does Formosa International Hotels Group (FIH, 晶華酒店集團) fare this quarter and beyond? FIH chairman Steve Pan (潘思亮): The virus outbreak will have a serious impact on business travel, driven mainly by meetings, incentive travel, conferences and exhibitions over the past three decades. For the past six months, many businesspeople have grown used to exchanging information on the Internet, where more people can participate. The trend might sustain for three to five years until people are vaccinated and it is safe to
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