Trump content with trade
President Donald Trump on Sunday said that he was “very happy” with the trade situation with China and that Beijing would not become the world’s top superpower under his watch. “We’re taking in billions of dollars,” Trump told Fox News Channel’s Steve Hilton when asked about the end game on the trade dispute. “China is obviously not doing well like us.” Trump’s comments signal that he is in no rush to get back to negotiating with Beijing after talks to end the trade conflict fell apart earlier this month.
Foxtons warns sales low
London-focused real-estate agent Foxtons Group PLC aid yesterday said that the property market had seen record low sales volumes in the first quarter, hurting revenue as ongoing Brexit uncertainty hurt consumer confidence. The warning came months after one of Britain’s best-known property names scrapped its dividend for last year and reported a fall in core earnings, hurt by weaker sales and higher costs in a tough market. Foxtons’ group revenue dipped to ￡23.8 million (US$30.3 million) for the quarter ended March 31, compared with ￡24.5 million a year earlier.
Centricus acquires resort
Centricus has acquired Capri Palace Hotel & Spa as it makes a foray into the high-end hotel and resorts sector. Centricus, a London-based investment firm that oversees more than US$23 billion in assets, has purchased all of the resort in Anacapri, a small town in the northwest of Capri Island off the Italian coast, a statement seen by Bloomberg said. It features 68 guest rooms and is home to Capri’s only two Michelin-starred restaurants.
Goldman to test rules
Goldman Sachs Group Inc is to test Saudi Arabia’s new market rules that aim to limit price swings after share sales. The US bank is acting as stabilization agent for mall owner Arabian Centres, which is expected to start trading this week after completing the kingdom’s biggest initial public offering since 2015. Arabian Centres raised about 2.47 billion riyals (US$659 million) after pricing shares at the bottom end of the range.
Reliance protests rating
Reliance Capital Ltd, Anil Ambani’s financial services company, protested against a three-step downgrade by Care Ratings that put its credit score two notches above “junk.” Care Ratings cut the firm’s long-term debt program to “BBB” from “A” and kept it on credit watch with developing implications, according to statements from Reliance Capital and the ratings company on Saturday. Reliance Capital said that Care did not fully factor in the effect of its plan to raise more than 100 billion rupees (US$1.42 billion) via asset sales.
Yuan stability to be upheld
The central bank is to maintain basic stability of the yuan exchange rate within a reasonable and balanced range, according to comments posted on its Web site on Sunday. People’s Bank of China Deputy Governor Pan Gongsheng (潘功勝) said in an interview that the central bank was confident in its ability to maintain stable operation of the nation’s foreign-exchange market. The bank would also make the necessary counter-cyclical adjustments and strengthen macro-prudential management, Pan said.
NOT ALL GOOD: Analysts warned that other data for last month might be less rosy due to the virus and analysts expect the PMI to contract again next month Chinese factory activity saw surprise growth last month as businesses went back to work following a lengthy shutdown, but analysts said that the economy faces a challenging recovery as external demand has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the World Bank said that growth could screech to a halt. China is slowly returning to life after months of tough restrictions aimed at containing the virus, which put millions of people into virtual house arrest and brought economic activity to a near standstill. The strict measures saw a closely watched gauge of manufacturing plunge to its lowest level on record in February,
The output of the global smartphone industry this year is to contract by 7.8 percent on an annual basis as the COVID-19 pandemic ushers in a global recession, Taipei-based market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said in a report on Monday. The global production of smartphones is expected to fall to 1.29 billion units, as the pandemic dampens demand for consumer electronics, leading to a decline in shipments across Europe and North America, TrendForce said. With consumers delaying smartphone purchases and thereby lengthening the device replacement cycle, overall prices would suffer a setback that is expected to negatively affect the profitability of smartphone
ELECTRONICS Lite-On delays sale of unit Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations. AUTO PARTS Hiroca approves dividend Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca
ALL ABOUT STRATEGY: The company is optimistic, saying that its gross margin should increase year-on-year, but it is scaling back on its plans to expand capacity Quang Viet Enterprise Co (QVE, 廣越), which makes down jackets and garments for sportswear and outdoor brands including Adidas AG, yesterday said that revenue might drop 5 to 10 percent annually this year as some customers trimmed orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That would mark its first revenue decline since 2016. Quang Viet posted record-high revenue of NT$16.26 billion (US$537.45 million) last year, up 22 percent from 2018. Down jackets made up 40 percent of it revenue last year. North Face Inc and Patagonia Inc are this year likely to reduce orders by 20 to 30 percent from a