Central bank maintains rates
The central bank yesterday held interest rates at a record low, despite “uncertainty” over consumer spending ahead of the festive season. The cash rate would remain unchanged at 0.75 percent as downside risks in the global economy “lessened recently,” Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe said. The resource-rich economy recorded its weakest annual growth in a decade for the year to June, expanding just 1.4 percent, but Lowe said that it has reached a “gentle turning point.” He said he expected growth to pick up to three percent by 2021.
T-Mobile begins 5G services
T-Mobile US Inc on Monday said that it became the first company to launch 5G wireless services across the US, although it would be slower than some expect for the new generation of connectivity. The number three US carrier said that its 5G network covers 200 million people and “goes through walls,” outperforming the limited 5G deployment of larger rivals Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc earlier this year. The T-Mobile system operates on a low band that offers speeds faster than current 4G networks, but below the maximum promised for 5G. However, the company called it “real, standards-based 5G.”
Facbook testing transfer tool
Facebook Inc on Monday began testing a tool that lets users move their images more easily to other online services, as it faces pressure from regulators to loosen its grip on data. The social network’s new tool allows people to transfer their photographs and videos directly to competing platforms, starting with Google Photos. The company said that it would first be available to people in Ireland and would be refined based on user feedback. The tool would then be rolled out worldwide in the first half of next year.
UniCredit to cut 8,000 jobs
Italian bank UniCredit SpA plans to reduce 8,000 jobs under a three-year plan that aims to increase shareholder value. UniCredit aims to close 500 branches, putting the customer focus on “streamlined processes and innovative products,” it said. The bank, Italy’s largest by assets, yesterday said that net profit would grow to 5 billion euros (US$5.5 billion) by 2023, from a forecast 4.7 billion euros this year, with earnings per share rising 12 percent per year. The bank also plans to return 8 billion euros in value to shareholders through share buybacks, which would reduce its market exposure and increase the value of shares traded, and dividends, which would increase by 40 percent in the period.
Manufacturing activity drops
Pain in the US’ manufacturing sector worsened last month as activity contracted for the fourth straight month, an industry survey released on Monday showed. Amid a slowing global economy and trade disputes, weak demand again ate into production of metals, wood products, plastics, appliances, oil, furniture and textiles, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) monthly report said. Inventories and prices fell for the sixth month in a row, while backlogs were the lowest in nearly four years. ISM’s index edged down two-tenths of a point to 48.1 percent, marking a faster rate of contraction than in October. Any reading below 50 indicates contraction.
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