Jobs rise as summer comes
The Ministry of Employment and Social Security yesterday said the number of people registered as unemployed fell by 46,050 last month with more people finding jobs in the run-up to the summer tourist season. The ministry said the total number registered as jobless stands at 4.99 million. The nation’s economy has been in recession for the best part of the past four years as it battles to recover from the collapse of its once-booming real-estate sector. The ministry said that 1.1 million new job contracts were registered last month, a rise of 19 percent from the March and 11 percent in the same month last year. The country’s unemployment rate was a record 27.2 percent in the first quarter.
Hyundai wins China bid
South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Co yesterday said it had won a US$700 million deal to build the world’s largest container ships for China Shipping Container Lines Co (中海集裝箱運輸). Under the deal signed with China’s No. 2 shipper, the world’s largest shipbuilder will build five vessels, each capable of carrying 18,400 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU) container boxes, Hyundai said in a statement. The ships will be the world’s largest, breaking the previous record of another South Korean firm, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co, which won an order in 2011 to build two dozen 18,000 TEU container ships for Denmark’s A.P. Moeller-Maersk. Delivery of the mega-vessels will begin latef next year, Hyundai said.
Sinopec, Galaxy plan IPOs
Sinopec Engineering Group Co (中石化煉化工程) and China Galaxy Securities Co (中國銀河證券) are seeking as much as a combined US$3.6 billion in Hong Kong initial public offerings (IPOs) this month after first-time share sales in the territory slumped to a four-year low. Sinopec Engineering offered 1.33 billion shares at HK$9.8 to HK$13.1 each to raise a potential HK$17.4 billion (US$2.2 billion), terms for the deal show. Galaxy Securities may sell 1.57 billion shares at HK$4.99 to HK$6.77 apiece to raise as much as HK$10.6 billion, according to another term sheet. Companies completed US$1.1 billion of initial share sales in the territory in the first quarter, the least since early 2009, data show.
Galaxy to buy Macau hotel
Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd, the Macau casino owner, will buy a hotel on the increasingly popular Cotai Strip. Galaxy said it would pay HK$3.25 billion (US$419 million) for the Grand Waldo complex, including a 29,700m2 hotel. Galaxy already runs a casino in complex is in Macau. It holds one of Macau’s six gambling licenses. The reclaimed land that joins the Cotai and Taipa islands is being built into Asia’s equivalent of the Las Vegas Strip. Hong Kong-based Galaxy in March reported annual profit that more than doubled to HK$7.4 billion from HK$3 billion a year earlier.
Services rebounds: survey
The slump in the nation’s services industry eased last month as business volumes and orders neared an expansion, a survey by Swedbank AB indicated yesterday. An index based on responses from purchasing managers rose to a seasonally adjusted 48.6 last month from 47.3 the previous month, said Stockholm-based Swedbank, which compiles the index. A reading below 50 signals a contraction. Growth in the country will pick up to 1.4 percent this year from 0.8 percent last year, the Riksbank said.