National debt levels rising
Global debt levels jumped in the first quarter of this year, outpacing the world economy and closing in on last year’s record, the Institute of International Finance said. Debt rose by US$3 trillion in the period to US$246.5 trillion, almost 320 percent of global economic output, the institute said in a report published yesterday. That is the second-highest dollar number on record after the first three months of last year, though debt was higher in 2016 and 2017 as a share of world GDP. New borrowing by the US government and by global non-financial business led the increase.
Ryanair cuts forecast
Europe’s largest budget airline, Ryanair Holdings PLC, has cut its forecast for passenger numbers next summer, blaming possible further delays in deliveries of Boeing Co 737 MAX planes. The Irish company on Monday said the move would also impact jobs, as it would close or make cuts at the some of its bases for this winter and next summer’s schedules. The airline now expects to carry 3 percent more passengers next summer, down from its previous forecast of 7 percent. That reduces its traffic estimate for the year to March 2021 to about 157 million from 162 million. Ryanair said it would start discussions with airports to determine which of its underperforming or loss-making bases would be cut or closed from November.
IKEA to close US factory
IKEA said it would close its only US factory at the end of the year, cutting 300 jobs, as it would be more cost-effective to make the products in Europe and import them. It said raw material costs were too high compared to plants in Europe, meaning prices at the plant in Danville, Virginia, were “significantly higher.” The factory, which opened in 2008 to produce wood shelves and storage units for the US and Canadian markets, is to close in December.
Burberry Q1 sales up 4%
British luxury brand Burberry Group PLC yesterday reported a pick-up in first-quarter sales after it began shifting more new designs by creative chief Riccardo Tisci into its stores as part of a turnaround plan. New products accounted for around half the wares on offer in its shops by the end of last month, it said. This helped lift same store sales by 4 percent — following growth of 1 percent in the previous three months and topping market expectations of about 2 percent.
Symantec-Broadcom deal off
Symantec Corp and Broadcom Inc have halted their discussions for a proposed merger as they could not agree on a price, according to people familiar with the matter. Discussions hit an impasse over the weekend after Broadcom sought to reduce its offer by more than US$1.50 per share after determining in due diligence that it was no longer willing to meet their agreed-upon price of US$28.25, the people said. The talks could be resumed if both parties are able to compromise on price or if Symantec comes under sufficient pressure to re-engage, the people said.
France starts 5G process
France’s telecoms regulator Arcep on Monday officially launched the process to allocate to operators frequencies for next-generation 5G mobile telephone networks. Arcep said it would offer the initial batch of frequencies at a fixed price and then hold an auction for the rest.
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
With the US dollar expected to weaken in the next 12 months due to near-zero interest rates, investors should consider purchasing US corporate bonds, Standard Chartered Bank Taiwan Ltd (渣打台灣銀行) said on Thursday. The bank said that the US Federal Reserve since last month has been buying bonds issued by US companies to curb default rates. The US dollar is forecast to be weaker against the pound, the euro and the yen, as well as the Canadian dollar, the Swedish krona and the Swiss franc, as the greenback lacks high investment returns after the Fed in March slashed the benchmark interest rate
BAD RAP: The exchange said Tatung had seriously breached shareholders’ rights and failed to give a satisfactory explanation of its board election dispute Tatung Co (大同) shares yesterday plunged by the maximum daily limit of 10 percent to NT$18.90, the lowest in three months, after the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) on Tuesday evening changed the company’s classification to a full-delivery stock effective tomorrow. The TWSE’s move follows the company’s failure to give a clear and satisfactory explanation of why it deprived dozens of shareholders of their voting rights during a board election at the annual shareholders’ meeting on Tuesday morning. Under the exchange’s regulations, investors are not allowed to engage in margin trading of a full-delivery stock, TWSE spokeswoman Rebecca Chen (陳麗卿) told
SIZE MATTERS: Medium-sized hotels that do not have the support of parent groups are more vulnerable and are forced to take action, a REPro Knight Frank researcher said About 50 hotels across Taiwan are seeking to exit the market as they succumb to the bleak business outlook amid international travel restrictions imposed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Yomi Hotel (優美飯店) on Minsheng E Road, Sec 1, in Taipei is seeking to transfer ownership with an asking price of NT$950 million (US$32.15 million) and a pledge for a lease contract that guarantees a 3 percent return. The budget hotel, with room rates that start from NT$1,400 per night, maintains normal operations, but has been struggling since March, when the government placed restrictions on inbound and outbound travel. Occupancy rates for hotels in