Orr to head central bank
Adrian Orr is to oversee the biggest overhaul of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand since it pioneered inflation targeting in the early 1990s. Orr, 54, is to begin a five-year term as governor of the central bank on March 27, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said in Wellington yesterday. A former deputy governor and chief economist at the central bank, Orr currently heads the government’s sovereign wealth fund, which has swelled to more than NZ$37 billion (US$25.61 billion) under his decade-long leadership. The New Zealand dollar jumped on Orr’s appointment as traders bet he would not allow the goals of full employment and price stability to weaken the central bank’s inflation-fighting resolve.
Resilient output ups growth
The economy grew by a strong 11.1 percent in the third quarter of this year compared with the same period last year, official statistics showed yesterday, with the high reading driven by one-off effects, as well as resilient output. The figure was well above the consensus market forecast, which had been for 10 percent growth. Growth was driven by construction and services, as well as a strong rise in exports, official data published by the Statistics Institute showed. Analysts said ahead of the data release that the third-quarter figure would be particularly strong as last year’s comparative period was especially weak due to the effects of the July 15 failed coup and a long religious holiday. The economy grew by 1.2 percent in the third quarter from the second quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis, the institute said. QNB Finansbank Research said its end of year forecast was for 6.3 percent GDP growth.
Festive spending tumbles
Squeezed consumers reined in Christmas travel plans and bought fewer new cars last month, setting the stage for the first fall in festive spending in five years, credit card company Visa said yesterday. The downbeat message came alongside a cut by the Chambers of Commerce to its economic outlook for the next two years as the business organization sees inflation rising faster than pay for the next two years. Visa said inflation-adjusted consumer spending last month was 0.9 percent lower than last year. This was a smaller decline than October’s 2.1 percent drop, but still enough to make annual falls in spending likely for the first time since 2012 for both the Christmas season and this year overall, the company said.
BYD to build cars in Morocco
Chinese electric car manufacturer BYD Co (比亞迪) on Saturday signed an agreement to open a factory near the Moroccan city of Tangiers to build battery-powered vehicles, officials said. BYD is to become the third car manufacturer, after Renault SA and PPSA Peugeot Citroen of France, to construct cars in the North African state. The memorandum of understanding was signed at the royal palace in the coastal city of Casablanca in the presence of King Mohammed VI and BYD chairman Wang Chuanfu (王傳福), whose company is backed by US investor Warren Buffett. The factory in the new Mohammed VI Tangier Tech City, part of a project between China and Morocco, is to produce electric cars, buses and trucks at a 50-hectare site employing 2,500 people, the project directors said.
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price
NOT A PANACEA: Offering 5G services would not solve the problem of declining telecom incomes, chairman Sheih Chi-mau said, expecting a flat 5G telecom revenue Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years. Subscribers would have unlimited data transmission for monthly fees starting at NT$1,399 — the same flat rate as when the company launched its 4G service in 2014 — and they can subscribe to the highest-rate plan for NT$2,699 per month for faster data transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, the company said. Data transmission speeds would be within the range
ROW: A probe would determine if the rights of shareholders who were not allowed to vote yesterday had been violated, while the stock exchange also wants answers The election of board directors yesterday at Tatung Co (大同) sparked controversy after the company blocked some institutional and individual shareholders from participating in the general shareholders’ meeting, prompting the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) to announce that the vote would be investigated. Lin Kuo Wen-yen (林郭文艷) was re-elected as chairwoman of the household-appliance maker’s nine-member board, but prior to the vote she announced that several shareholders would not have voting rights. They were being denied a vote because they had contravened the Business Mergers and Acquisitions Act (企業併購法), and the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and