Factory prices surge
Factory prices kept surging last month as authorities curb production in smokestack industries to combat pollution. The producer price index rose 6.9 percent from a year earlier, versus a projected 6.6 percent rise in a Bloomberg survey and matching September’s pace. The National Bureau of Statistics of China yesterday said that consumer price index climbed 1.9 percent, from 1.6 percent in September and also slightly beating Bloomberg’s forecast of 1.8 percent.
Interest rates on hold
The central bank left interest rates unchanged and said it might consider the degree of monetary accommodation as economic growth gains momentum. Its overnight policy rate was held at 3 percent, Bank Negara Malaysia said in a statement yesterday. The Monetary Policy Committee said that the assessment is for growth to remain strong next year, with domestic demand the key source. Headline inflation is projected to moderate next year, it said.
Siemens beats its forecast
Industrial behemoth Siemens AG reported a leap in profits in its 2016 to 2017 financial year, meeting its own forecasts as the group continues a long-term restructuring. Net profits at the group, whose products range from wind turbines to trains to medical equipment, grew to 6 billion euros (US$7 billion), up 11 percent compared with the previous year. Operating profit grew 12 percent year-on-year, to 8.3 billion euros, while revenues added 4.3 percent to top 83 billion euros.
Adidas profits surge on shoes
Adidas AG yesterday reported a jump in third-quarter profits, lifted by strong demand for its own-brand trainers and apparel in China and North America. The German company said net profit soared to 526 million euros between July and September, up 36 percent on the same period last year. Group revenues grew by nearly 9 percent to 5.7 billion euros, driven by online sales and the success of its retro-inspired Originals trainers and its Neo urban fashion line.
Toshiba logs losses
Toshiba Corp yesterday said it logged a net loss of US$436 million for the fiscal first half of the year, as it moves to complete the multibillion dollar sale of its chip business to restore its balance sheet. The Tokyo-based firm said the loss was mainly due to the tax impact associated with a controversial deal to sell the chip unit to a consortium led by Bain Capital LP. Sales over the six-month period came in at ￥2.39 trillion (US$21.1 million), a 5.1 percent rise from a year ago, while operating profit rose to a record ￥231.8 billion, more than double the same period last year.
EU probe steel giant bid
EU anti-trust authorities have opened an investigation into global steel giant ArcelorMittal SA’s bid to buy struggling Italian steel producer Ilva, officials said on Wednesday. The 1.8 billion euros deal would see ArcelorMittal join forces with Italy’s Marcegaglia SpA to snap up the heavily indebted company, which employs 14,000 people. The commission now has until March 23 next year to decide on whether competition rules would be violated and approve or reject the proposed merger.
From the customer’s perspective, car rental is a straightforward business. The only uncertainty is whether the hire company will charge you for the scratch they discover when you hand back the vehicle. Hertz Global Holdings Inc’s bankruptcy protection filing on Friday last week was a reminder that today even the simplest business models are underpinned by a lot more financial complexity than meets the eye. The proximate cause of Hertz’s demise was of course the sudden collapse in bookings caused by COVID-19 travel restrictions. The company’s monthly revenue last month fell 73 percent year-on-year, a shortfall that even the most resilient
Uber Technologies Inc, Lyft Inc and Airbnb Inc have slashed thousands of jobs. Salesforce.com Inc and Visa Inc are letting employees work remotely for months; Twitter Inc and Square Inc are allowing them to do so for good. For the companies’ hometown of San Francisco, the moves are early signs of a dire blow. In a city with a long history of booms, busts and natural calamities, the COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly upended nearly a decade of prosperity. While municipalities across the US are grappling with economic fallout from the virus, San Francisco stands to take a deeper hit given its high
BULK PURCHASE: The French chain and Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International reached a deal covering 224 stores, which is expected to be finalized by year’s end Carrefour SA yesterday announced it would acquire Wellcome Taiwan Co (惠康百貨) for 97 million euros (US$108.33 million), and bring all the Wellcome supermarkets (頂好超市) and Jasons Market Place stores nationwide under its banner within 12 months of the deal closing. The France-based hypermarket chain reached an agreement with Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International Holdings (牛奶國際控股), the pan-Asian retailer that launched Wellcome Taiwan in 1987. The transaction involves 199 Wellcome supermarkets, which have average sales areas of 420m2 and 25 high-end Jasons Market Place stores, which have an average sales area of 820m2, as well as a warehouse in Taoyuan, Carrefour Taiwan (家樂福)
‘ONE-STOP SHOP’: A Miaoli official said that the factory in the Jhunan section of the Hsinchu Science Park would create more than 1,000 jobs and boost prosperity A new high-end IC packaging and testing plant planned by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) in Miaoli County is expected to start operations in the middle of next year, Miaoli County Commissioner Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) said. Hsu wrote on Facebook that TSMC, the world’s largest pure wafer foundry operator, would invest NT$303.2 billion (US$10.1 billion) to build the plant, the largest-ever single investment in Taiwan. However, TSMC declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal, while a company board meeting on May 12 approved a spending plan worth NT$168.2 billion as part of its investment plans. Construction of the