Baby formula recall doubled
French baby-milk maker Lactalis Group yesterday said it was more than doubling the quantity of formula and other products recalled over salmonella fears in the second such move in two weeks. The latest recall involves 720 batches of products sold in France and overseas and follows an initial recall of 625 batches, or nearly 7,000 tonnes of products, on Sunday last week. The new recall concerned powders and infant cereals of the group’s Picot and Milumel brands, as well as the Taranis powdered amino-acid mix, the company said.
Building rebound boosts GDP
The economy grew 0.6 percent in the third quarter thanks to a rebound in construction, official data released yesterday showed. The rise in quarterly GDP was in line with market expectations, taking annual growth to 3.0 percent. Construction jumped 3.6 percent over the quarter, while service industries rose 0.6 percent, with health and residential care leading the way. Primary industries fell 0.4 percent, partly because wet weather lowered milk production, Statistics New Zealand said.
Inflation target unchanged
The Bank of Japan yesterday opted to keep its ultra-lax monetary policy unchanged, saying rising private consumption, exports and business investment were signs that a moderate recovery has taken hold. In a policy statement, the central bank said it is committed to its nearly five-year-old 2 percent inflation target, but deemed inflation expectations to be in a “weakening phase.” It forecast that inflation would likely gradually rise thanks to tightening capacity. The central bank kept its key policy rate at minus-0.1 percent.
Fitch grants rating upgrade
The nation won a second rating upgrade this year, with Fitch Ratings raising its assessment to one step above investment grade, months after S&P Global Ratings lifted the nation out of “junk” status. The rating on the nation’s long-term, foreign currency-denominated debt was raised one level to “BBB” with a stable outlook, Fitch said in a statement yesterday. The upgrade puts Indonesia on a par with the Philippines, which received an upgrade just this month. Fitch cited rising foreign-exchange reserves, the focus on macro stability and strong economic growth as drivers of the upgrade.
Reforms bring IMF funds
The IMF on Wednesday approved the third installment of a US$12 billion, three-year loan for Egypt, bringing the total released to date to just more than US$6 billion. The IMF board approved the latest US$2 billion disbursement under the deal signed in November last year, after a fund team last month praised Cairo’s progress on “bold” economic reforms. The IMF said Egypt’s economy is expected to grow 4.2 percent this year and the inflation rate is expected to fall to 13 percent by the end of next year.
Broker allows bitcoin trades
E-Trade Financial Corp said it plans to allow customers to trade bitcoin futures from Cboe Global Markets Inc, joining competitors including CME Group Inc in offering the contracts after monitoring their debut earlier this month. Cboe futures are “now available,” the New York-based online brokerage wrote on its Web site late on Wednesday. A spokesman confirmed the move.
POOR INTERNAL CONTROLS: Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa said the company is expected to get back on track while its chairman is suspended The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$939,415) for a reckless investment that endangered its solvency, and suspended its chairman Eugene Wu (吳東進) for poor supervision. The penalty is the second-highest in a single case after Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) was fined NT$30 million in September last year and its chairman Du Ying-tzyong (杜英宗) suspended for two years, the commission said. In three rounds of special and regular examinations conducted since last year, the commission found that Shin Kong Life had given too much power to an asset and liability management committee
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
Sony Corp has cut its estimated Play Station 5 (PS5) production for this fiscal year by 4 million units, down to about 11 million, following production issues with its custom-designed system-on-chip (SOC) for the new console, people familiar with the matter said. The Tokyo-based electronics giant in July boosted orders with suppliers in anticipation of heightened demand for gaming in the holiday season and beyond, as people spend more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the company has come up against manufacturing issues, such as production yields as low as 50 percent for its SOC, which have cut into
O2O BICYCLE SHOW: The Taiwan Bicycle Show next year is to be online to offline, with forums, audio-visual conferences and livestreaming of the offline events Local bicycle makers expect demand to continue outpacing supply due to orders triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, with some companies seeing orders back up through next year. “Next year is all full in terms of orders. Our lead time on components is one year,” Giant Manufacturing Co Ltd (巨大機械) chairwoman Bonnie Tu (杜綉珍) told a news conference in Taipei organized by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) to announce next year’s Taipei Cycle Show. The pandemic has reduced bicycle supplies and increased demand around the world, Robert Wu (吳盈進), chairman of KMC (Kuei Meng) International Inc (桂盟國際), one of the world’s