Economy battling to recover
The economy slowed in the second quarter, but fared better than forecast, as the country’s recovery struggled to take hold at a time of political uncertainty. GDP expanded a seasonally adjusted 1.2 percent from the previous three months, according to data released yesterday, down from a revised 1.6 percent in the first quarter. From a year earlier, GDP shrank 1.5 percent. The slowdown in quarterly growth was driven by a slump in investments, which shrank 7.4 percent from the previous three-month period, a breakdown of GDP data by the Turkish Statistical Institute showed.
Export slump continues
Exports extended their slump last month as an escalating feud with Japan adds to uncertainties for the economy already elevated amid the US-China trade dispute. Exports fell 13.6 percent from a year earlier, a ninth consecutive month of contraction, data from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy showed on Sunday. Imports fell 4.2 percent, and the trade surplus was US$1.7 billion, the ministry said. Shipments to China dropped 21.3 percent, a reflection of slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy and South Korea’s biggest export destination. Semiconductor exports fell 30.7 percent by value, while volume was up 4.5 percent.
Baring Vostok faces seizure
A court in Russia’s Far East ordered the seizure of a stake in Vostochny Bank held by private equity group Baring Vostok Capital Partners at Vostochny Bank’s request, court documents published yesterday showed. Baring Vostok has been in the spotlight since the arrest earlier this year of several of its executives, including US investor Michael Calvey, on embezzlement charges. They deny wrongdoing and say the case is being used against them in a corporate dispute over control of the bank. Vostochny Bank had requested the seizure of more than 334 billion shares held by a firm controlled by Baring Vostok.
Lottery to be privatized
The country aims to privatize its national lottery company, Francaise des Jeux (FDJ), in November, Minister of Finance Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday. The French state that controls 72 percent of FDJ, has said it plans to retain at least 20 percent of Europe’s second-biggest lottery operator following the sell-off, promised for this year. Le Maire said the privatization would most likely occur “during the month of November” barring any sharp stock-market downturn. He was speaking in an interview with CNEWS televsion, Europe 1 radio and daily Les Echos.
Norwegian Air asks for help
Budget airline Norwegian Air is asking bondholders to extend the maturity of its debt by up to two years, and would in return pledge valuable take-off and landing slots at London Gatwick Airport as security, it said yesterday. While the indebted carrier’s operational performance has improved since mid-July, the company’s working capital has decreased this year amid ongoing engine problems and the grounding of its fleet of Boeing MAX aircraft, it said. Norwegian’s bonds, which mature in December and August next year with a combined outstanding amount of US$380 million, would be extended to November 2021 and February 2022 if bondholders accept the revised terms.
Just a few years ago, the millennial generation — generally defined as those born from the early 1980s through the mid-1990s — was synonymous with youthful rebellion. However, now, as the millennials ease into early middle age, they are finding their path out of their parents’ basement to be a lot harder than it was for earlier generations. The fundamental problem is that millennials are not building wealth. The wealth of the median US household headed by someone 35 or younger has actually shrunk in inflation-adjusted terms since the mid-2000s, even as the wealth of older Americans has continued to grow. An
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
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price
NOT A PANACEA: Offering 5G services would not solve the problem of declining telecom incomes, chairman Sheih Chi-mau said, expecting a flat 5G telecom revenue Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years. Subscribers would have unlimited data transmission for monthly fees starting at NT$1,399 — the same flat rate as when the company launched its 4G service in 2014 — and they can subscribe to the highest-rate plan for NT$2,699 per month for faster data transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, the company said. Data transmission speeds would be within the range