Q1 GDP rises 0.6 percent
Economic growth accelerated more than economists expected in the first quarter, with the nation’s GDP rising 0.6 percent from a year earlier. The expansion was driven by above-average growth in consumer spending, as well as construction and investment in equipment such as vehicles and information-technology services. The fourth-quarter reading was revised up to 0.3 percent, according to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs. However, exports last month dropped 0.6 percent, a second consecutive decline, according to a statement yesterday.
PBOC injects funds
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) is acting to increase the supply of short-term funding to banks after the seizure of a regional lender rattled domestic markets. The central bank injected a total of 150 billion yuan (US$21.7 billion) through open-market operations yesterday and on Monday, the most since the week ending on March 8. Regulators announced last week that they would take control of Baoshang Bank Co (包商銀行), fueling worries of failures elsewhere and driving up funding costs.
MAS extends Menon’s term
Ravi Menon’s term as managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) was extended for another two years, providing stability at the central bank at a time of growing economic risks. Menon’s new term takes effect from Saturday, the MAS said in a statement yesterday. The 55-year-old Menon was also reappointed to the MAS board for two years.
Canal+ buying M7
Vivendi SA’s Canal+ agreed to buy pay-TV operator M7 Group for just over 1 billion euros (US$1.2 billion) to expand in Europe, where it is vying for subscribers with Netflix Inc. The purchase of M7 from private equity firm Astorg Partners SAS pushes Canal+ into seven European countries, bringing its total subscribers to almost 20 million, Vivendi said in a statement on Monday. M7, with 3 million subscribers, operates a largely direct-to-home satellite business in central and eastern Europe, the Netherlands and Belgium.
VW changing battery plan
Volkswagen AG (VW) is making changes to its battery-purchasing plan worth about 50 billion euros (US$56 billion) over concerns that one of its supply deals, with Samsung SDI Co, might unravel, according to people familiar with the matter. Samsung initially agreed to deliver batteries for just over 20 gigawatt hours, enough to power 200,000 cars with 100 kilowatt hour packs, before different views on production volume and schedule emerged during detailed negotiations, the people said. The impasse cut pledged supplies to less than 5 gigawatt hours, they said.
Batista fined US$134m
Eike Batista, once the nation’s richest man, has been fined about US$134 million for insider trading, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Brazil said on Monday, as the ex-billionaire remains under house arrest pending an appeal against a 30-year jail sentence. The 62-year-old also was banned for seven years from running a publicly traded company. Batista was accused of selling shares in his oil company OGX in 2013 when he knew it would be unable to explore blocks acquired at an auction in 2007.
DEVELOPING TALENT: The electronics contractor is looking to recruit people to work in core tech fields and emerging industries like electric cars and robotics Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s largest contract electronics maker, has launched a recruitment drive, offering a monthly salary of no less than NT$45,000 (US$1,485) to university graduates. For those with a master’s degree, the starting pay would be NT$52,000 per month at the minimum, while doctorate degree holders would receive at least NT$60,000 a month, Hon Hai said a statement issued early this week. The latest recruitment drive is aimed at attracting talent in core technology fields — artificial intelligence, semiconductors and next-generation mobile communications — and emerging industries — electric vehicles, digital healthcare and robotics, the
MRT TRAVEL FALLS: In February, ridership on the Taipei MRT System fell 8.96 percent from an average of 2.01 million per day in January Scooter sales jumped 13 percent last month as more commuters turned to two-wheelers to avoid public transportation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest statistics showed. Sales expanded to 74,493 units last month, compared with 65,913 units in February, statistics released on Wednesday by Kwang Yang Motor Co (光陽工業) and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications showed. In the first quarter, aggregate sales slid 0.51 percent year-over-year to 186,627 units, from 187,580 units, data showed. Kwang Yang, the nation’s biggest scooter manufacturer, continued to lead the market by selling 24,136 vehicles last month, growing 6.12 percent from 20,785 units in the previous month, while
Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), the nation’s leading PC vendor, yesterday launched its first dual-screen gaming laptop powered by Intel Corp’s latest central processing units (CPUs). The PC manufacturer’s announcement closely followed the US chipmaker’s unveiling of its 10th Generation Core H-series, the fastest commercial mobile processors with speeds of up to 5 gigahertz. Although Asustek’s Zephyrus Duo 15, the highlight of its Republic of Gamers line, is not the company’s first laptop with two screens, it is its first designed specifically for gaming. Nestled between the primary display panel and the keyboard, the secondary display, which Asustek calls the ScreenPad Plus, is angled
NO ILL EFFECT: Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the spread of COVID-19 was still relatively mild in Taiwan, housing brokers said Housing transactions in the six special municipalities totaled 19,824 units last month, up 7.8 percent from a year earlier, brokers said, citing government data. Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the pinch of the COVID-19 pandemic was not yet evident, they said. Taoyuan posted the largest improvement, with housing transactions soaring 36.6 percent year-on-year to 3,676 units, local government data showed. Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋) attributed the pickup to the completion of two presale residential projects in the municipality. Houses in Taoyuan have increasingly gained in popularity in the past few year years due to relatively affordable home prices and