GDP increases 0.3%
Economic growth slowed in the second quarter, with investment suffering amid fallout from the US-China trade dispute and a slump in Germany. GDP rose 0.3 percent, with equipment investment down 1 percent, which the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs blamed on an “uncertain environment.”
US announces steel tariffs
Washington on Wednesday announced new import duties on more than US$1 billion in imported structural steel from China and Mexico, saying that manufacturers in those countries dumped products in the US market. The US Department of Commerce’s findings, which are preliminary and could be reversed, follow a similar decision in June concerning Chinese alloy aluminum imports valued at nearly US$1 billion. Chinese and Mexican producers allegedly dumped fabricated structural steel — such as I-beams, rods and joists — at margins of between 0 percent and 141.4 percent, the department said.
Galaxy Fold hits stores
Samsung Electronics Co yesterday announced that its Galaxy Fold would go on sale today in its home market of South Korea following a months-long delay caused by the discovery of a defect in the original design. The Galaxy Fold, a US$1,980 luxury Android device that opens like a book, is expected to arrive in the US on Sept. 27, people familiar with Samsung’s plans said. Samsung itself lists the US market as one of its expansion geographies after the South Korean launch, alongside France, Germany, Singapore and the UK.
Grab to focus on AI
Southeast Asian ride-hailing start-up Grab Holdings Inc intends to invest US$150 million in artificial intelligence (AI) research in the next year, accelerating the expansion of a business that now includes food delivery, digital payments and digital content. Grab would build on the US$100 million it has previously invested in AI technology, and improve its fraud prevention and natural language processing tech, company cofounder Tan Hooi Ling (陳慧玲) said on Wednesday. “We want to go from AI-powered to AI everywhere,” Tan said.
Facebook records exposed
Phone numbers linked to more than 400 million Facebook Inc accounts were listed online in a privacy lapse for the social media giant, US media reported on Wednesday. An exposed server stored 419 million records on users across several databases — including 133 million US accounts, more than 50 million in Vietnam and 18 million in Britain, news site TechCruch reported. The databases listed Facebook user IDs, the profiles’ telephone numbers, as well as the gender listed by some accounts and their geographical locations, TechCrunch said.
Apple sells US$7bn of debt
Apple Inc on Wednesday borrowed US$7 billion in its first bond sale in nearly two years, as cheap funding costs tempt even companies flush with cash. Apple, which has more than US$200 billion in cash and securities on its books, sold senior unsecured bonds in five parts. The longest portion of the offering, a US$1.5 billion 30-year security, would yield 1.03 percentage points above Treasuries, after an initially discussed spread of about 1.25 percentage points, a person with knowledge of the matter said.
Polytronics Technology Corp (聚鼎科技) yesterday announced that it is buying Henkel AG’s thermal clad dielectric material (TCLAD) business division for US$26 million as the Taiwanese firm aims to improve its technology, product portfolio and revenue performance. Polytronics, headquartered in the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), is a supplier of protection components and heat dissipation materials. The firm entered the metallic heat-dissipation substrate market in 2007 and developed a unique solventless production process. Its board of directors approved signing an agreement with Henkel to acquire the German chemical firm’s TCLAD division in the US. The purchase includes all assets and business interests, including equipment,
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
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
A Bollywood actor’s face tattooed on his arm, Sandeep Bacche’s devotion shocks few in India where stars enjoy semi-divine status, but even there the hallowed silver screen might be losing its shine to streaming services and pandemic fears. “Whenever things get better and theaters begin operations, I will watch three movies a day for sure just as a way to celebrate,” said the Mumbai rickshaw driver, who is recovering from the virus himself. However, others might not join the party. With cinemas shut for months due to a COVID-19 lockdown, and little prospect they will reopen soon, frustrated Bollywood producers have turned to