Growth hits 7.3% in Q4
Growth accelerated in the fourth quarter as stronger manufacturing output helped the economy remain one of the world’s best performers. The country’s GDP grew by 7.3 percent in the three months through this month from the same period last year, up from a revised 6.82 percent in the previous quarter, the General Statistics Office (GSO) in Hanoi said yesterday. Economic growth for the full year was 7.1 percent, it said, compared with the median estimate of 6.9 percent in a Bloomberg survey of 12 economists. “Manufacturing is a bright spot of the economy,” GSO Director-General Nguyen Bich Lam said at a briefing. Lam said he expects growth to remain strong next year as free-trade deals boost exports. Manufacturing this year rose 13 percent from last year, while realized foreign direct investment rose 9 percent. Exports increased 13.8 percent, with sales of electronics goods surging. Vietnam posted a trade deficit of US$200 million this month.
Economy could slow further
The economy could hit some speed bumps next year and inflation could rise, due to risks of new sanctions, a weaker ruble and a planned tax increase, a Reuters monthly poll showed yesterday. Economic growth has been below the global average in the past few years, hampered by a weak and volatile currency, a drop in oil prices and sanctions imposed by the EU and the US from 2014, after Russia’s annexation of Crimea. After expanding by 1.7 percent this year, GDP was seen growing by 1.4 percent next year, the consensus forecast of 17 analysts and economists showed. That is below the World Bank’s estimate that the global economy grew 3.1 percent this year. “The next year will be tough. Economic growth will slow amid an increase to the value-added tax, higher inflation and lending rates,” Renaissance Capital chief economist Oleg Kouzmin said.
Vinci to take over Gatwick
Vinci SA has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Gatwick Airport for ￡2.9 billion (US$3.66 billion) as the French construction company expands its portfolio of aviation infrastructure with a major London hub. The purchase of the 50.01 percent stake from a group of investors including sovereign wealth funds from Abu Dhabi and Australia is to be completed in the first half of next year, the French company said in a statement yesterday. Existing shareholder Global Infrastructure Partners is to manage the other 49.99 percent. With 45.7 million passengers this year, Gatwick is to become the largest airport in Vinci’s global network. Gatwick has been under pressure due to intensifying competition from London’s other airports.
NEC to buy Denmark’s KMD
Japan’s NEC yesterday said that it would buy Denmark’s largest IT firm KMD for US$1.2 billion, as part of its effort to expand its European and global businesses. Under the plan, the information technology giant is to buy all the shares of KMD Holding APS for 8 billion krone by the end of February, NEC said in a statement. “Through this acquisition, NEC will acquire a business model that leverages platforms in the digital government domain as it aims to expand business from northern Europe to the whole of Europe and globally,” it said. The acquisition is to be finalized after NEC completes the necessary procedures, including getting approval from the European Commission.
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
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
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
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