Index flags slump risk
The government cut its formula-based assessment of the economy to indicate that economic conditions were worsening in August, an outcome signaling a higher risk that the nation could be entering a recession. The coincident economic index fell 0.4 point to 99.3 in August, the Cabinet Office reported yesterday, compared with an estimate of 99.4 by economists. The leading economic index dropped 2 points to a 10-year low of 91.7, compared with an estimate of 91.8 by economists.
Orders contract in August
Factory orders dropped for the second consecutive month in August — led by lower domestic demand, the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy said yesterday. Orders were 0.6 percent lower compared with the previous month, when they fell 2.1 percent, it said. Domestic orders dropped 2.6 percent, while foreign demand rose 0.9 percent. Orders from other countries in the eurozone rose 1.5 percent and those from elsewhere edged up 0.4 percent.
Oyo to raise US$1.5bn
Oyo Hotels and Homes is raising US$1.5 billion from founder Ritesh Agarwal, Softbank Group Corp and other investors, as the India lodging start-up expands into foreign markets, such as the US and Europe. Agarwal, 25, plans to spend US$700 million to buy new shares in the company as part of a previously reported US$2 billion plan to triple his ownership stake. Existing investors SoftBank’s Vision Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia India would contribute the rest of the current round.
PropertyGuru to list
PropertyGuru Pte, a provider of online real-estate classifieds based in Singapore, plans to raise as much as A$380.2 million (US$257 million) and list on the Australian stock exchange. The shares’ indicative price range is between A$3.70 and A$4.50, which would give it a market capitalization at the upper end of about A$1.36 billion, the company’s prospectus showed yesterday. A book build to determine the final price is to be held later this month and trading is expected to start on Oct. 25.
Osram falls on failed bid
Osram Licht AG fell the most in two months after a 4 billion euro (US$4.4 billion) offer by Austrian suitor AMS AG failed to attract enough support from investors, and a pair of rival bidders are still considering whether to make a new bid. The shares dropped as much as 4.5 percent in early trading yesterday. Osram investors had tendered 51.6 percent of their shares to AMS by a deadline last week, falling short of a 62.5 percent threshold. The Apple Inc supplier has vowed to keep pursuing an acquisition, while private equity suitors Bain Capital and Advent International are inspecting the company’s books, Osram said on Friday.
Samsung ends China work
Samsung Electronics Co on Friday said it has ended the production of smartphones in its last factory in China. Production at the Huizhou, Guangdong Province, factory ended last month, it said in an e-mail. Samsung’s market share in China has dwindled to near insignificance, as competitors like Huawei Technologies Co (華為) and Xiaomi Corp (小米) got the upper hand. The South Korean company has moved a large share of its smartphone production to Vietnam and had shuttered a factory in Tianjin, China, last year.
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,
‘SENSITIVE MARKETS’: The previously unannounced project would involve the company handing over control of data to a third party to sidestep privacy concerns Google has abandoned plans to offer a major new cloud service in China and other politically sensitive countries due in part to concerns over geopolitical tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic, two employees familiar with the matter said, revealing the challenges for US tech giants to secure business in those markets. In May, the search giant shut down the initiative, known as “Isolated Region” and which sought to address nations’ desires to control data within their borders, the employees said. The action was considered a “massive strategy shift,” said one of the employees, who added that Isolated Region had involved hundreds of employees
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday posted monthly revenue that suggested second-quarter sales surpassed analysts’ estimates, underscoring how its technological lead is helping the chipmaker weather the COVID-19 pandemic and US sanctions on its second-biggest customer Huawei Technologies Co (華為). Apple Inc’s main iPhone chipmaker posted sales of NT$120.88 billion (US$4.08 billion) for last month, up 40.8 percent year-on-year and bringing its revenue for the second quarter to NT$310.7 billion, beating the NT$308.8 billion analysts expected on average. TSMC, a barometer for the industry thanks to its heft in the global supply chain, had previously lowered its revenue outlook for this
ELECTRIC FARMLAND: TSMC’s proposal to clear 230 hectares of reforested land for what would become Taiwan’s largest photovoltaic solar farm has generated concerns New rules curbing solar farms built on agricultural land sparked fierce debate at a packed public hearing at the Legislative Yuan yesterday, with industry representatives saying that the new restrictions would endanger President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) green energy goals, while agricultural officials emphasized the importance of protecting farmers and the environment. The Tsai administration has set a target to generate 20 percent of the nation’s power from renewable sources by 2025, by which time it also aims to install 20 gigawatts (GW) of solar power, including 6GW from rooftop solar systems and 14GW from ground-mounted solar farms. Although rooftop solar systems are