Growth slows as exports dip
The Indonesian economy grew slower than expected in the first quarter, official data showed yesterday, as exports contracted for the first time since 2016 owing to softer demand for key commodities. Southeast Asia’s biggest economy expanded 5.07 percent in January to March, nearly flat from a year earlier and missing market estimates of 5.18 percent. An uptick in government and household spending buoyed growth, but imports and exports fell from a year ago, the statistics agency said.
Occidental revises offer
Occidental Petroleum Corp, which is in a bidding war with Chevron Corp to buy oil company Anadarko Petroleum Corp, on Sunday revised its offer and said it has found a buyer for Anadarko’s African investments if the deal goes through. Occidental is still offering US$76 a share for each share of Anadarko, the same as its bid from last month, but more of it is now in cash. The company said Total SA has agreed to buy Anadarko’s African assets for US$8.8 billion if the takeover happens.
India’s April PMI weakens
Expansion in India’s dominant services sector weakened last month ahead of an election, a private survey showed yesterday, suggesting a delayed recovery to Asia’s third-largest economy. The Nikkei India services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to a seven-month low of 51 from 52 in March on the back of slower increases in new business and output growth. A survey last week showed that manufacturing also weakened last month.
UK plans registry change
The UK plans to change the corporate registration system to increase the transparency of company ownership and management information while protecting personal data to prevent fraud. Directors will be able to suppress personal details such as addresses under planned changes to the 170-year-old Companies House register published on Sunday. The register includes more than 4 million limited-ownership companies. The measures would help combat economic crime by making it easier to identify owners and managers of companies, the government said in a statement.
Baqir to head central bank
The Pakistani Ministry of Finance has appointed an IMF economist to head its central bank amid ongoing talks with the international lending agency over a key US$8 billion bailout package. The ministry late on Saturday named Reza Baqir as governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, hours after firing Tariq Bajwa. The head of a tax collection body, Jahanzeb Khan, was also dismissed. Bajwa and Khan were part of the team holding talks with the IMF in Islamabad.
Fair tax measures mulled
The government is mulling the introduction of new measures to increase the tax base to alleviate fiscal pressure on the middle class and increase funding for social services, Moroccan Minister of Finance Mohamed Benchaaboun said. The measures are aimed at making the rich pay their “fair” share of taxes, as well as fighting tax evasion and fraud, Benchaaboun said late on Saturday. Income tax is disproportionately collected with 73 percent of revenue coming from taxing wages, ministry data showed.
ELECTRIC FARMLAND: TSMC’s proposal to clear 230 hectares of reforested land for what would become Taiwan’s largest photovoltaic solar farm has generated concerns New rules curbing solar farms built on agricultural land sparked fierce debate at a packed public hearing at the Legislative Yuan yesterday, with industry representatives saying that the new restrictions would endanger President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) green energy goals, while agricultural officials emphasized the importance of protecting farmers and the environment. The Tsai administration has set a target to generate 20 percent of the nation’s power from renewable sources by 2025, by which time it also aims to install 20 gigawatts (GW) of solar power, including 6GW from rooftop solar systems and 14GW from ground-mounted solar farms. Although rooftop solar systems are
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday posted monthly revenue that suggested second-quarter sales surpassed analysts’ estimates, underscoring how its technological lead is helping the chipmaker weather the COVID-19 pandemic and US sanctions on its second-biggest customer Huawei Technologies Co (華為). Apple Inc’s main iPhone chipmaker posted sales of NT$120.88 billion (US$4.08 billion) for last month, up 40.8 percent year-on-year and bringing its revenue for the second quarter to NT$310.7 billion, beating the NT$308.8 billion analysts expected on average. TSMC, a barometer for the industry thanks to its heft in the global supply chain, had previously lowered its revenue outlook for this
‘SENSITIVE MARKETS’: The previously unannounced project would involve the company handing over control of data to a third party to sidestep privacy concerns Google has abandoned plans to offer a major new cloud service in China and other politically sensitive countries due in part to concerns over geopolitical tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic, two employees familiar with the matter said, revealing the challenges for US tech giants to secure business in those markets. In May, the search giant shut down the initiative, known as “Isolated Region” and which sought to address nations’ desires to control data within their borders, the employees said. The action was considered a “massive strategy shift,” said one of the employees, who added that Isolated Region had involved hundreds of employees
BIODEGRADABLE POLYMER: The bank said that its iPass credit card, the first such card issued by a foreign bank, gives it access to stores that do not accept its credit cards DBS Bank Taiwan (星展台灣) yesterday launched its first co-branded credit card with iPass Corp (一卡通票證), and said it expects its credit card business to fully recover in the second half of this year. The new “DBS eco card” is made of polylactic acid — a bio-based biodegradable polymer that can be produced from renewable resources — and is the bank’s first credit card to have the iPass electronic payment function, it said. The partnership would give the bank new business momentum, DBS Bank Taiwan general manager Lim Him-chuan (林鑫川) told a news conference in Taipei. That is because some stores and supermarkets in