Q4 growth disappoints
The economy grew less than expected in the final quarter of last year, reinforcing bets that the central bank is in no rush to raise interest rates. GDP gained 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter from the third, when it also rose 0.6 percent, Statistics New Zealand said yesterday. The economy expanded 2.9 percent from 2016, less than the 3.1 percent forecast. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand last month signaled that it would keep the official cash rate at 1.75 percent until the middle of next year and traders see just a 40 percent chance of a hike before the end of this year.
FDI edges up 0.5%
Foreign direct investment (FDI) rose 0.5 percent year-on-year to 139.4 billion yuan (US$22.06 billion) in the first two months of the year, the Ministry of Commerce said on its Web site yesterday. Foreign investment into high-tech manufacturing totaled 14.53 billion yuan over the period, up 89.7 percent. Meanwhile, China Investment Corp (中國投資), an US$814 billion sovereign wealth fund, said it plans to expand investments in areas such as real estate, hedge funds, infrastructure and private equity for more stable returns, as it reduces exposure to volatile public markets.
Lyft, Magna team up
Lyft Inc has struck a multimillion-dollar partnership with North America’s biggest automotive supplier to fund and develop systems needed to make self-driving vehicles a reality. Magna International Inc and Lyft are to share the intellectual property from codeveloping autonomous vehicles, and Magna will be free to sell the technology to auto companies. In addition to helping fund the partnership, Magna has made a US$200 million equity investment in Lyft, extending the ride-hailing company’s most recent financing round to US$1.7 billion.
Broadcom withdraws bid
Broadcom Ltd has officially withdrawn its US$117 billion bid to buy US chipmaker Qualcomm Inc, two days after US President Donald Trump blocked the Singaporean company’s ambitions over national security fears. Broadcom on Wednesday said that it was disappointed with Trump’s decision. The company withdrew its proposed candidates for Qualcomm’s board, but said it still plans to move its headquarters to the US.
Inditex profit growth slows
Spain’s retail giant Inditex SA, which owns Zara, on Wednesday said that net profit for last year rose by a slower 7 percent due in part to a warm autumn, as it tackles an increase in online shopping. Inditex, which owns eight brands, including Zara, Bershka and Massimo Dutti, said net profit rose to 3.37 billion euros (US$4.2 billion), a slower increase than in 2015 and 2016. The Spanish company’s sales rose 9 percent to 25.3 billion euros.
Lufthansa posts record profit
German airline giant Lufthansa AG yesterday reported record profits for last year, celebrating a year that saw it bury a smouldering dispute with pilots and gobble up parts of defunct rival Air Berlin. Net profits at the group — which includes Lufthansa, Eurowings, Swiss, Brussels Airlines and Austrian Airlines — added 33.1 percent to hit 2.36 billion euros, higher than the 2.28 billion euros predicted by analysts. Group revenue grew 12.4 percent to 35.6 billion euros.
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
‘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
US-CHINA TENSIONS: The company said that it supplies self-designed chips to the Chinese company and, as such, is not affected by the latest US export restrictions Macronix International Co (旺宏電子) said it does not expect its shipments of memory chips to Huawei Technologies Co (華為) to be affected by the latest US export restrictions on the Chinese tech giant. “As long as the company [Huawei] places orders, we will ship [chips], unless the [Taiwanese] government restricts all Taiwanese companies from shipping” to Huawei, Macronix chairman and chief executive officer Miin Wu (吳敏求) said on Monday in Hsinchu. The US Department of Commerce on Friday took a further step to block chip supplies from non-US companies to Huawei by requiring foreign semiconductor makers to get US government permission before
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