US lauds UN budget cut
The country on Sunday applauded a US$285 million cut in the UN core budget, saying it was “a big step in right direction.” The UN General Assembly adopted a budget of US$5.396 billion for 2018-2019, slightly below the US$5.4 billion that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had sought. The US is by far the largest contributor to the UN budget, providing for 22 percent of the core budget. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said in a statement that “inefficiency and overspending” at the world body were “well known.” Haley said the budget negotiations had generated several “successes” with financial cutbacks and a reduction of the UN’s “bloated management and support functions.” “We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked,” she said.
Chinese to develop oil field
Chinese state-run company ZhenHua Oil (振華石油) is to develop an oil field near Baghdad under an accord with the Middle Eastern country, the oil ministry said on Sunday. A ministry spokesman said that the target was to produce 40,000 barrels per day from the southern sector of the East Baghdad field within five years of implementation of the accord between ZhenHua and Iraq’s Midland Oil Company. The output is to be used for the capital’s Dora refinery and nearby electricity plants. Under the deal, the Chinese firm is to build housing for the workers, a nursery school and a clinic.
Tourist arrivals surge
The country last month welcomed 3 million foreign tourists, the tourism ministry said yesterday, 23.2 percent more than the same month a year earlier. The kingdom saw a total of 31.85 million foreign tourist arrivals in the period from January to last month, up 8.1 percent from the previous year, Tourism and Sports Ministry Permanent Secretary Pongpanu Svetarundra said in a statement. Pongpanu said the country expects a record 35.4 million visitors in total this year, up 9 percent from the previous year. About 10 million of those visitors are expected to be Chinese, he said. The country’s tourism industry is a major employer and accounts for 12 percent of Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy. Last year, there were a record 32.6 million visitors. The tourism sector has weathered more than a decade of political upheavals, including several rounds of anti and pro-government street demonstrations and two military coups.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Abu Dhabi to sell bills
Abu Dhabi plans to start selling treasury bills for the first time next year, according to people with knowledge of the matter, as the OPEC producer seeks to develop its local-currency debt market. The government is working with international and local banks on how the notes will be structured, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. Regulations are expected to be completed next year and regular sales could follow shortly after that, the people said. Abu Dhabi, home to about 6 percent of the world’s known oil reserves and capital of the country, is exploring ways to bridge a budget deficit after oil prices dropped. The emirate, whose debt carries the third-highest investment grade at S&P Global Ratings, in October raised US$10 billion from a bond sale. The country is working on a federal debt law to allow the nation to sell local-currency debt.
‘ACCORDING TO PLAN’: A company official said that it has set up production sites worldwide to provide services and that its Wisconsin project was going smoothly Hon Hai Precision Industry Co’s (鴻海精密) smart manufacturing center in Wisconsin would begin trial manufacturing in the middle of this year, the company said yesterday, adding that it plans to build a research institute to develop key technologies to support growth over the next five years. Hon Hai, known internationally as Foxconn Technology Group (富士康科技集團), said in an annual report submitted to the Taiwan Stock Exchange that its planned Foxconn Institute for Research in Science and Technology would conduct research into artificial intelligence, next-generation communications, quantum computing, cybersecurity and nano semiconductors in Taiwan. Hon Hai is to make products at the center
TV and online retailer Momo.com Inc (富邦媒體) yesterday said it has set up a new logistics subsidiary, Fu Sheng Logistics Co (富昇物流), to oversee the company’s extensive shipping operations. Leveraging Momo’s 23 satellite warehouses and distribution centers nationwide, Fu Sheng will be in charge of executing the retailer’s same-day shipment plan for deliveries in Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, Momo said in a press release. Seeking to further shorten its supply chain, the company is to set up another seven satellite warehouses and distribution centers by the end of the year. “Fu Sheng has a fleet of 200 couriers
STAYING AHEAD: Fitch said that TSMC remains technologically ahead of others, but Samsung is building a new chip fab, while China is investing in its domestic industry As escalating US-China tensions and COVID-19-related production disruptions force US technology supply chains to transform, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) US$12 billion chip fabrication plant in Arizona would be key to spurring greater US production of core semiconductor components, Fitch Ratings said. “We view the US-TSMC alliance as a first step in building a more autonomous US technology supply chain, given high barriers to entry, specifically related to the significant capital and design capability required for leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing,” Fitch said in a statement on Tuesday. “By working with TSMC, US chipmakers will not face the financial burden of incremental investment
E Ink Holdings Inc (元太科技), the world’s sole supplier of e-paper displays for e-readers and shelf labels, posted its best quarterly net profit for the first quarter in nine years amid increased demand during a traditionally slow season. Net profit soared 80 percent to NT$787 million (US$26.23 million) in the quarter ended March 31, compared with NT$438 million a year earlier. That translated into earnings per share of NT$0.69, up from NT$0.39. E Ink posted lower royalty income of NT$371.23 million last quarter from NT$448.74 million a year earlier, a company financial statement showed. E Ink said that it expects royalty income to