Record output cut in EU
Factories and refiners in the 16 countries using the euro cut their output at the fastest rate on record in April in the face of depressed demand, official EU figures showed yesterday. The Eurostat data agency said eurozone industrial production fell 1.9 percent in April over one month, bringing the drop over 12 months to a record 21.6 percent, the sharpest annual contraction on record. In March, production had fallen 1.4 percent over one month and 19.3 percent over 12 months.
Asia can’t rely on US: ADB
Asia can’t rely on exports to the US for long-term economic growth because US consumers will buy less as they increase savings and pay down debt, Asian Development Bank (ADB) president Haruhiko Kuroda said on Friday. “I’m optimistic on Asia’s short-term outlook but pessimistic on the long-term,” Kuroda said in a speech in Tokyo. “The US savings rate could rise to as high as 10 percent and suppress consumption. It’s becoming impossible for Asia to rely on the US consumer.”
British postal strike planned
A British union says thousands of postal workers will strike next week in a dispute over jobs and services. The Communication Workers Union says up to 10,000 mail sorters, letter carriers and other London employees will walk out on Friday for 24 hours. The union accused the Royal Mail of making “arbitrary cuts” and called for negotiations. British public sector unions have increasingly called strikes as employers cut jobs and benefits amid the recession.
Dell planning acquisition
US computer giant Dell is planning to acquire a “significant-sized company” in the next few months, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. The newspaper, citing people who have recently spoken with its chief financial officer, Brian Gladden, said the Round Rock, Texas-based company wanted to expand its data-storage and tech-services businesses. The Journal said Dell, which has more than US$9 billion in cash reserves, sold US$1 billion in bonds on Wednesday. A Dell spokesman said the debt offering was “for general corporate purposes, and among the possibilities — and certainly no commitment has been made — are acquisitions.”
World banks must act: China
The US government and global financial authorities need to remove toxic assets from their banking systems to restore world economic stability, a top Chinese banking regulator said yesterday. Actions taken by governments worldwide to stabilize the financial sector “have gradually eased the panic,” said Liu Mingkang (劉明康), chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission. “But from the flip side of the coin ... I should say it’s not enough and all these are not ... working,” given the massive losses incurred by toxic assets still lingering in banking systems around the world, he said.
AOL buys two Web startups
Internet pioneer AOL, which Time Warner plans to spin off into an independent company later this year, announced on Thursday that it had bought two small Web startups focused on local content. AOL, in a statement, said it had purchased Patch Media Corp, a local news and information platform for local communities, and Going Inc, a platform for sharing information about events in major cities.
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
ON THEIR OWN: The KMT has decided not to participate as a party at this year’s forum, and if any members do go, they would not be representing the party, Alicia Wang said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would not send a delegation “as a political party” to this year’s Straits Forum, after a Chinese TV program described the planned visit to the annual meeting as “suing for peace.” The 12th forum is scheduled to open in Xiamen, China, on Saturday. On Tuesday last week, the KMT announced that former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would lead the party’s delegation to the forum, with KMT Secretary-General Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) as deputy head. However, on Thursday last week, China Central Television’s (CCTV) Yangshipin (央視頻) program, hosted by Li Hong (李紅), included a headline
WORKING OVERTIME? NTU professor Lee Duu-jong denied that he had held a part-time position at a Chinese university or joined China’s Thousand Talents Program A candidate for the post of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) president yesterday dropped out of the race following a report questioning his links to Chinese academia and government programs. Lee Duu-jong (李篤中), a professor at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) chemical engineering department, was a member of China’s Changjiang Scholars’ Program in 2006 and was on the list of its Thousand Talents Program in 2017, a report by Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine said yesterday. The article said that Lee is suspected of having held a part-time job at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and was the recipient