August exports fell 8.2%
Exports dropped the most since January, as China’s slowdown, the trade conflict between Washington and Beijing, and softness in the global tech sector continued to weigh on overseas demand. The value of shipments abroad fell 8.2 percent last month from a year earlier, the Ministry of Finance said. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had estimated a 10 percent drop. Shipments to China suffered the second-largest decline in the past three years, with sharp falls in chipmaking equipment continuing. The trade balance showed a deficit of ￥136.3 billion (US$1.26 billion). Imports fell 12 percent last month, versus economists’ median estimate of a 10.7 percent drop.
Oil prices stabilize
Oil prices stabilized on signs Saudi Arabia is quickly restoring production following a debilitating drone attack on Saturday last week. Saudi Arabian Oil Co (Aramco) said it had revived 41 percent of capacity at its Abqaiq facility. Abqaiq is now processing about 2 million barrels a day and should return to pre-attack levels of about 4.9 million barrels by the end of this month, chief executive officer Amin Nasser said on Tuesday. Two-thirds of production have been restored and the kingdom expects a full recovery in 10 days, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said. Brent futures, the global crude benchmark, were back to about US$64 a barrel in early London trading yesterday after jumping to near US$72 in reaction to the disruptions.
European sales dip 8.4%
European vehicle registrations fell sharply last month, deepening the woes of an industry battling sluggish demand in key markets and the challenge of rolling out electric vehicles. Sales dropped 8.4 percent, the steepest decline this year, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association said. The fall was partly due to exceptionally high growth in Augut last year, as manufacturers rushed out models ahead of tough new emissions-testing rules. The continent’s five biggest markets all contracted last month, with Spain and France posting the biggest declines.
FedEx cuts profit forecast
FedEx Corp cut its fiscal 2020 profit forecast, citing worsening trade tensions and a weaker global economy. Adjusted earnings this year would be US$11 to US$13 a share in the fiscal year ending in May next year, FedEx said in a statement on Tuesday. That implied at least a 16 percent drop from the previous year. FedEx in June predicted a “mid-single-digit percentage point” drop from last year’s level of US$15.52 a share. “Our performance continues to be negatively impacted by a weakening global macro environment driven by increasing trade tensions and policy uncertainty,” chief executive officer Fred Smith said in the statement.
GDP to rise 1.5% next year
The economy is set to grow by 1.5 percent next year, Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra said on Tuesday, as officials warned of a slowdown due to Brexit and the ongoing US-China trade dispute. Hoekstra added that the government was loosening its purse strings to spend more on stimulating the economy, including the sluggish housing market, childcare and defense. For the fifth year in a row a budget surplus was expected, with revenue totaling 305.5 billion euros (US$337 billion) as opposed to 302 billion euros in spending, official documents 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