Wed, Nov 07, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



Factory orders jump 0.3%

Factory orders unexpectedly rose for a second month in September in a sign that Europe’s largest economy is poised to regain growth momentum toward the end of this year. Orders gained 0.3 percent from the previous month, compared with economists’ predictions for a 0.5 percent decline. It was only the third monthly increase this year. Orders slid 2.2 percent on the year. The Deutsche Bundesbank has said underlying momentum in the economy remains intact, even though growth probably stalled in the third quarter, affected by US protectionism and new emissions rules that automakers have struggled with.


Michelin to close UK factory

France’s Michelin on Monday announced plans to close a Scottish manufacturing plant with 845 employees, due to growing competition from cheaper products in Asia. The Dundee factory — opened in 1971 and now exclusively manufacturing 16-inch and smaller tires for cars — would close in mid-2020, Michelin said, citing lower demand for the plant’s premium tires and stiffer competition from “low-cost, entry-level products from Asia.” The announcement came as global companies have been reassessing the merits of keeping their UK manufacturing sites open after Britain leaves the EU in March. Michelin did not refer to Brexit in its announcement.


Icelandair up on acquisition

Icelandair shares on Monday shot up more than 40 percent after it announced it had acquired low-cost compatriot WOW Air. The two airlines have benefited from a boom in travel to Iceland over the past few years and have used the island as a hub to offer transatlantic flights. No value for the deal was given, but local media said it could be worth about 16 million euros (US$18.25 million). WOW Air has run into financial difficulties in the past few months due to heightened competition and rising fuel prices. It lost US$13.5 million before tax and interest last year, after two years of profitable operations.


Boeing loses radar deal

The US Air Force has terminated a US$76 million contract with Boeing Co to update the radar on its flagship airborne early-warning and control aircraft, after the company encountered major delays in developing hardware and software, budget documents showed. The air force determined that the best approach for upgrades would be to replace the legacy radar processor and its related components, spokeswoman Captain Hope Cronin said in an e-mail. “Boeing estimated several additional years and an additional US$60 million would be needed to complete the project,” Cronin said.


HK rents to fall: brokerage

Rents in the world’s costliest office market, Hong Kong, might fall for the first time in four years as an equities rout weighs on sentiment in the territory. Grade-A office rents in Central and Admiralty districts will decline about 4 percent next year, Colliers International Inc said in a report. That compares with an estimated gain of 9 percent this year. Declines in stocks this year have undermined confidence at the financial firms that rent more than half of the grade-A office space in the central business district, the property brokerage said. Looming interest rate increases and the US-China trade war will also take a toll on sentiment, it said.

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