Retail sales rebound
Retail sales rebounded last month, recovering from a sharp drop in May and offering a sign of improved consumption in the second quarter of this year. The main contributors were fuel sales, which rose 17 percent from a year earlier due to higher oil prices, food and beverages, and medicines and toiletries. Air conditioners also sold well, thanks in part to higher temperatures. Demand from inbound tourists remained strong, rising from a year earlier. Still, tepid wage gains mean Japanese shoppers remain reluctant to really ramp up spending. That leaves economic recovery still reliant on exports at a time when the trade outlook looks increasingly cloudy, with the US considering tariffs on car imports.
ARM to buy Treasure Data
ARM Holdings PLC, the British computer chip designer owned by Softbank Group Corp, has agreed to buy US-based data analytics firm Treasure Data Inc, people familiar with the matter said. Treasure Data might fetch about US$600 million in the sale, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deal is not yet public. The acquisition is part of ARM’s push into the Internet of Things (IoT). Last month, it announced the acquisition of Stream Technologies, a Glasgow-based company that improves connectivity for IoT devices. Softbank, which bought Cambridge, England-based ARM in 2016 for US$32 billion, is interested in investing in artificial intelligence, driverless cars, IoT, robotics and ride sharing, chief executive officer Masayoshi Son has said.
Lotte might sell malls
Lotte Group, reeling from a wave of anti-South Korean sentiment in China for more than a year, is considering selling some of its department stores in the country, a move that would accelerate the conglomerate’s withdrawal from the world’s second-largest economy. The sale of some of Lotte Shopping Co’s five malls is among options being reviewed in the country, a Lotte Group spokesman said, in response to an earlier Chosun Ilbo report. Lotte Confectionery Co, which has three factories in China, is also reviewing its business there, the representative said. Despite some signs of thawing, Lotte’s ongoing struggles illustrates how South Korean companies continue to face hardships in China about a year-and-a-half after Seoul angered Beijing by deploying a US anti-missile system. Hyundai Motor Co has also seen its sales fall in the country in the wake of the dispute.
Economic growth surprises
Economic growth unexpectedly accelerated in the second quarter of this year as consumer spending and exports picked up. GDP advanced 1 percent in the period, accelerating from a revised 0.8 percent in the first three months and beating the 0.5 percent estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists. GDP grew 3.3 percent from a year earlier. The largest Nordic economy has seen 20 consecutive quarters of growth, which in part has been fueled by a record wave of immigration since 2015. It has driven employment to a record high level and public debt to the lowest since 1977. Consumers have so far withstood a slide in the housing market even as confidence has waned some this year. Interest rates are at rock-bottom, but the central bank has flagged it would start raising rates from a record low of minus-0.5 percent toward the end of the year after unleashing record stimulus over the past four years to stabilize inflation.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion