Central bank holds rates
The central bank yesterday kept its interest rates at historic lows, despite weaker-than-expected growth and global trade fears. Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe said the cash rate would remain unchanged at 1.00 percent, but the board would “ease monetary policy further if needed.” The bank had already cut rates by a quarter-point in June and again in July owing to concerns about the slowing economy. “It is reasonable to expect that an extended period of low interest rates will be required,” Lowe said.
Inflation falls to zero
Inflation fell to zero last month, the lowest level on record, while separate data showed that the economy grew slightly slower than an initial estimate during the second quarter. Consumer prices rose 0 percent from a year earlier and increased 0.2 percent from the previous month, while core inflation rose 0.9 percent from a year earlier, data from the statistics office showed yesterday. GDP grew 2 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier and rose 1 percent from the previous three months, the Bank of Korea said in a statement.
Dubai projects to be curbed
Dubai’s ruler on Monday issued a directive that would curb the pace of new construction of real-estate projects as property prices fall and the sheer scale of developments threatens to outstrip demand. Emir Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum ordered the creation of a committee to study the needs of the real-estate market, evaluate all future projects and control the pace of projects, a statement by the Dubai Media Office said. The move comes amid a slowdown in the economy and a slump in real-estate prices.
Vox Telecom buyout agreed
Vox Telecom SA shareholders, including FirstRand Ltd’s RMB, have agreed to buy out fellow investor Investec Ltd as part of a 2 billion rand (US$130 million) recapitalization for the South African fiber-network operator. Metier Private Equity and the Internet company’s management are also part of the transaction, Vox chief executive officer Jacques du Toit said by telephone. The group is to look to accelerate fiber-network rollout outside of South Africa’s main cities and to the nation’s small businesses.
Aramco chairman replaced
Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih has been removed from his position as chairman of Saudi Arabian Oil Co (Aramco), as the government prepares to sell shares in the state-owned oil company. Al-Falih said on Twitter that he would be replaced by Yasir al-Rumayyan, head of the sovereign wealth fund. The appointment of al-Rumayyan, already an Aramco board member and a key adviser to powerful Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, would separate the ministry from Aramco and avoid conflicts of interest, sources said.
Tata to shut Welsh plant
India’s Tata Steel on Monday said that it would shut parts of its non-core businesses in the UK, a move that could cost about 400 jobs. The steelmaker proposed closing its loss-making Orb Electrical Steels site in South Wales, potentially affecting up to 380 jobs, as it was “unable to find a way forward” for the business, it said.
‘ACCORDING TO PLAN’: A company official said that it has set up production sites worldwide to provide services and that its Wisconsin project was going smoothly Hon Hai Precision Industry Co’s (鴻海精密) smart manufacturing center in Wisconsin would begin trial manufacturing in the middle of this year, the company said yesterday, adding that it plans to build a research institute to develop key technologies to support growth over the next five years. Hon Hai, known internationally as Foxconn Technology Group (富士康科技集團), said in an annual report submitted to the Taiwan Stock Exchange that its planned Foxconn Institute for Research in Science and Technology would conduct research into artificial intelligence, next-generation communications, quantum computing, cybersecurity and nano semiconductors in Taiwan. Hon Hai is to make products at the center
TV and online retailer Momo.com Inc (富邦媒體) yesterday said it has set up a new logistics subsidiary, Fu Sheng Logistics Co (富昇物流), to oversee the company’s extensive shipping operations. Leveraging Momo’s 23 satellite warehouses and distribution centers nationwide, Fu Sheng will be in charge of executing the retailer’s same-day shipment plan for deliveries in Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, Momo said in a press release. Seeking to further shorten its supply chain, the company is to set up another seven satellite warehouses and distribution centers by the end of the year. “Fu Sheng has a fleet of 200 couriers
E Ink Holdings Inc (元太科技), the world’s sole supplier of e-paper displays for e-readers and shelf labels, posted its best quarterly net profit for the first quarter in nine years amid increased demand during a traditionally slow season. Net profit soared 80 percent to NT$787 million (US$26.23 million) in the quarter ended March 31, compared with NT$438 million a year earlier. That translated into earnings per share of NT$0.69, up from NT$0.39. E Ink posted lower royalty income of NT$371.23 million last quarter from NT$448.74 million a year earlier, a company financial statement showed. E Ink said that it expects royalty income to
The latest US government action against Huawei Technologies Co (華為) takes direct aim the company’s HiSilicon (海思) chip division — a business that in over the past few years has become central to China’s ambitions in semiconductor technology, but is now to lose access to tools that are central to its success. That could make it the most damaging measure by the US yet against a Chinese company. On Wednesday, US officials told reporters that the Huawei’s chip division functioned as a “tool of strategic influence” for the Chinese Communist Party. Huawei, for its part, denounced the US allegations and called the