Deficit hits February record
The federal government posted a record budget deficit last month, pushing the overall deficit for the first five months of the budget year up 39 percent from a year earlier. The Department of the Treasury said in its monthly report that the deficit hit an all-time high of US$234 billion. That surpasses the old February deficit record of US$232 billion set in 2012. For the first five months of this budget year, the deficit totals US$544.2 billion. Last week, the administration projected that this year’s deficit would total US$1.09 trillion.
Indian rules delayed again
India delayed the introduction of new accounting rules for the second year running, in a move that will spare the country’s banks from adding another layer to the US$190 billion pile of bad loans on their books. The Reserve Bank of India on Friday said that legislative amendments needed to implement the new Indian Accounting Standards are still under consideration by the Indian government. “Accordingly, it has been decided to delay the implementation” of the rules “until further notice,” the central bank said.
Worker plan approved
The Cabinet on Friday approved a plan to persuade some of the roughly 1 million workers who left the country during its 2008 to 2013 economic slump to return home. Among the 50 measures included in the two-year plan are scholarships and grants for scientific researchers and lower social security payments for selected workers, the government said in a statement after the Cabinet approved the program.
Reserves fall explained
A recent fall in the central bank’s foreign currency reserves stemmed from sales of forex to energy-importing firms and a foreign debt payment, worth US$5.3 billion in total, a central bank official said on Friday. The official said the fall in reserves was not extraordinary and that the bank maintained a policy of accumulating reserves. However, the central bank said it would suspend its one-week lira repo auctions after the currency led a retreat among emerging market peers on Friday.
Apple upbeat over economy
Apple Inc chief executive officer Tim Cook yesterday said he is “extremely bullish” about the global economy based on the amount of innovation being carried out and urged China to continue to “open up.” In a speech at an economic forum in Beijing, Cook said Apple is less concerned with the short-term economic outlook, because the tech giant makes investments looking ahead years or decades. Apple reported a revenue drop of 26 percent in the greater China region during the quarter ending in December last year.
Storms halt operations
Global miners BHP Group and Glencore PLC halted output at energy and metals operations across Australia as two cyclones simultaneously approached the coast for the first time since 2015. BHP stopped output at the Pyrenees oil project off Western Australia as cyclone Veronica tracked toward a hub of liquefied natural gas and iron-ore export operations. In the north, cyclone Trevor has already made landfall.
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
‘ONE-STOCK SHOW’: Turnover hit an all-time high as TSMC continued to determine the local market’s direction and surpassed Visa in market capitalization The TAIEX early yesterday hit an all-time intraday high on the back of soaring Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) shares, before tumbling back to the previous day’s close as the contract chipmaker could not single-handedly prop up the index. The TAIEX rose more than 400 points in the first 20 minutes of trading to hit a record 13,031.7 points, but later pared its gains to close down 0.01 percent at 12,586.73. Turnover was NT$343.252 billion (US$11.63 billion), the highest in the Taiwan Stock Exchange’s history. TSMC continued to dictate the market’s direction, as its early surge by the daily
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
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