Producer price index dives
The prices firms pay factories for their goods fell last month at the fastest pace in three years, official data showed yesterday, as slackening demand and the bruising US trade dispute dragged on the economy. The producer price index — an important barometer of the industrial sector that measures the cost of goods at the factory gate — dropped 0.8 percent year-on-year last month, following a 0.3 percent drop in July. Consumer prices were also broadly subdued and only supported by a surge of almost 50 percent in the price of pork caused by African swine fever that has ravaged the nation’s pig industry since last year. The consumer price index rose 2.8 percent, stabilizing from July and beating forecasts.
Aramco readies local IPO
Saudi Arabian Oil Co (Aramco) chief executive officer Amin Nasser yesterday said that a domestic initial public offering (IPO) of the state oil giant would be the primary listing, but that it was also ready for an international offering. Nasser cited new Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman as saying that an IPO would happen “very soon,” but added that the ultimate decision on timing and venue rested with the government. Saudi Arabia is planning a gradual listing of Aramco on its domestic market, sources said on Monday, as it moves ahead with the process and finalizes the roles banks will play in the listing of the world’s biggest oil company.
Bank predicts 4.9% growth
The World Bank projects that the nation’s economic growth next year would slide below 5 percent and warned of the potential for “severe” capital outflows as global risks including the US-China trade dispute intensify. The forecasts were presented to President Joko Widodo, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. The presentation slides show a growth forecast of 4.9 percent for next year, which would be the slowest pace since 2015. That is lower than current projections of 5.1 percent for this year and 5.2 percent for next year in the World Bank’s June quarterly report.
Amazon Prime reaches Brazil
Amazon.com Inc is bringing its Prime membership program to Brazil in an effort to leapfrog competitors and gain traction in a nation where it has been expanding slowly but surely. To start, Amazon Prime Brazil is to be a scaled-down version of the US subscription service, offering free unlimited shipping for about 500,000 products out of the 20 million Amazon sells in Latin America’s largest economy. Two day-shipping would be available in 90 cities, the company said. Deliveries in other urban centers would take three days or more.
Moody’s slashes Ford rating
Ford Motor Co’s plan to spend years and US$11 billion restructuring itself was dealt a major setback by Moody’s Investors Service, which cut the automaker’s credit rating over doubt that its initiatives would generate earnings and cash. Moody’s downgraded Ford to “Ba1,” saying its cash flow and profit margins are below expectations and are likely to remain weak over the next two years. Ford is rated “BBB” — two steps above junk — at S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings, and both have negative outlooks.
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
‘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
US-CHINA TENSIONS: The company said that it supplies self-designed chips to the Chinese company and, as such, is not affected by the latest US export restrictions Macronix International Co (旺宏電子) said it does not expect its shipments of memory chips to Huawei Technologies Co (華為) to be affected by the latest US export restrictions on the Chinese tech giant. “As long as the company [Huawei] places orders, we will ship [chips], unless the [Taiwanese] government restricts all Taiwanese companies from shipping” to Huawei, Macronix chairman and chief executive officer Miin Wu (吳敏求) said on Monday in Hsinchu. The US Department of Commerce on Friday took a further step to block chip supplies from non-US companies to Huawei by requiring foreign semiconductor makers to get US government permission before
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