Machinery orders down
Machinery orders in May fell for the first time since January and at a faster rate than expected, casting doubt on the strength of capital investment over the coming months amid a global economic slowdown. Core machinery orders, a leading indicator of capital expenditure, in May fell 7.8 percent from April, its biggest fall in eight months, Cabinet Office data showed yesterday. Orders slipped 3.7 percent from the previous year. The latest data show that machine orders fell in both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors.
Forex holdings increase
Foreign-currency holdings rose for a second month amid potential capital inflows and positive valuation effects, hitting the highest level in more than a year. Reserves last month climbed to US$3.119 trillion from US$3.101 trillion in May, the People’s Bank of China said yesterday. The value of reserves rose due to a weaker US dollar and higher international financial asset prices, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange said in a statement.
Broadcom prepared to buy
Broadcom Inc has secured financing and identified cost savings for the acquisition of Symantec Corp in an all-cash deal, people familiar with the matter said. The chipmaker received lending commitments from several banks and sees annual synergy potential of about US$1.5 billion, the people said. Separately, Symantec has drawn interest from its former chief executive officer Greg Clark, who has teamed up with buyout firms Advent International and Permira Holdings in an attempt to muster a competing offer, the people said.
Effect of tax hike negligible
The government’s decision to raise duties on gasoline and diesel is unlikely to threaten the inflation outlook, keeping alive expectations of more interest rate cuts from the central bank. Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman’s decision on Friday to increase federal taxes on transport fuels by 2 rupees ($US0.17) a liter would have an impact of less than 10 basis points on headline inflation, Nirmal Bang Equities Pvt economist Teresa John said. The second-round effects could push up the inflation rate by slightly more than 10 basis points.
Vehicle sales recover
Passenger-vehicle sales showed signs of recovery from a historic rut as dealers offered discounts to clear inventory before new emissions rules kicked in. Retail sales of sedans, sport utility vehicles, minivans and multipurpose vehicles last month rose 4.9 percent to 1.8 million units from a year earlier, according to preliminary numbers from the China Passenger Car Association yesterday. That is the first increase since May last year for the world’s biggest market.
Flyadeal scraps MAX deal
Saudi Arabian budget carrier Flyadeal reversed a commitment to buy as many as 50 Boeing Co 737 MAX jets, becoming the first airline to officially drop the aircraft since its grounding following two deadly crashes. Flyadeal would operate an entirely Airbus SE fleet, the company said in a statment on Sunday, taking as many as 50 A320neo-family airplanes from Boeing’s European rival. Flyadeal is to take delivery starting 2021 of 30 Airbus A320neo aircraft, with an option for an additional 20 aircraft from the A320neo family.
STEPPING UP: The firm has also asked employees to work in split shifts from this week and to halt all but essential overseas business travel from next month Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) has implemented a remote work policy for employees not on production lines in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19, the world’s largest contract chipmaker said yesterday. This is the first time in the Hsinchu-based company’s history that it has launched a large-scale remote work policy, joining global technology companies, such as Apple Inc and Google, that encourage employees to work from home. The chipmaker has also asked employees to work in split shifts from this week, it said. As the number of virus infections continues to climb worldwide, TSMC has urged employees to halt unnecessary
Manufacturers are on a mission to produce desperately needed medical ventilators for the COVID-19 pandemic, even if it means converting assembly lines now making auto parts. Along with a shortage of masks and gloves, the spread of COVID-19 to almost every corner of the globe has highlighted a great need for specialized machines that help keep severely afflicted patients alive. “As the global pandemic evolves, there is unprecedented demand for medical equipment, including ventilators,” GE Healthcare chief executive officer Kieran Murphy said. The group has hired more workers and is making ventilators around the clock. Swedish group Getinge AB is also ramping up output
Facing the rapidly evolving global COVID-19 pandemic, Citibank Taiwan Ltd (台灣花旗) has proactively taken precautionary measures. “The health and safety of our colleagues and their families, as well as our clients and the communities we serve, are of the utmost importance. We continue to take proactive measures to preserve their well-being while we maintain our ability to serve our clients,” Citibank Taiwan chairman Paulus Mok (莫兆鴻) said in a statement yesterday. “We have local and regional contingency plans in place, and we have well-established business continuity plans for the firm. We are monitoring the situation closely, adjusting our operations accordingly,
UPGRADE AND TRANSFORM: Although the cross-strait trade deal might remain, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said businesses should prepare for any disruptions Taiwan might face a decline in foreign trade with China if the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) ends this year, Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said yesterday. The agreement, which was signed and put into effect in 2010 to reduce trade barriers across the Taiwan Strait, is expected to end this year, despite not having an exact termination date. “We have not received notification [from China] that it wishes to terminate ECFA,” Shen told reporters prior to attending a meeting at the Legislative Yuan. “Even if we are notified, the agreement would only cease after six months.” While acknowledging the