Although retaining a stable outlook and an A+ sovereign rating for Taiwan, Fitch Ratings, an international rating agency, yesterday expressed concern over the nation's post-election political dispute. \n"We're incorporating political and cross-strait risks into our sovereign rating for Taiwan," Brian Coulton, senior director and head of Asia sovereign ratings at Fitch Ratings, said yesterday at a seminar in Taipei while presenting an overview of local conditions. \nCoulton said that the lingering dispute over Saturday's presidential election result is expected to extend the period of political uncertainty and undermine the legitimacy of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). \nThe political stand-off may also entail the risk of reduced policy effectiveness, diminishing prospects for the nation's future banking reforms and fiscal policy adjustments, he added. \nHowever, only if protracted political tensions negatively impact the nation's upcoming economic recovery would Fitch Ratings consider revising its sovereign rating for Taiwan, Coulton said. \nPreviously, Chen's call for a referendum worried rating agencies about the possibility it would rile Beijing into detoriating the cross-strait relationship. But as the votes failed, Coulton said that the "no show" result greatly reduced the likelihood of military confrontation between Taiwan and China while easing concerns about the president's future moves toward a sovereign vote. \nWhile some Taiwanese businessmen worry that Chen's narrow election victory would slow the development of cross-strait links, Coulton said he believed the incumbent president would adopt a "pragmatic approach" when dealing with cross-strait issues in his next four-year tenure. \nChen yesterday vowed to begin mending the relationship with China during his second term, saying he had no pressure to get re-elected. \nCoulton further predicted the nation's economic growth rate (GDP) would hit 4.7 percent this year, saying several positive signs, including growing exports, bank credit and private consumption, indicate a healthy economic recovery. \nOn Monday, another international ratings agency, Standard & Poor's, also said that it would not change its view on Taiwan's credit ratings for the moment, since it expects the current political impasse to be resolved soon. \nBut S&P yesterday warned that the nation's banking sector still faced a lot of challenges ahead, although it had become healthier after the aggressive write-off of non-performing loans in the past three years. \nThe ratings agency estimated that the nation's bad-loan ratio may decline to between 5 and 7 percent by the year's end from its high of 15 percent at the end of 2001. \nMost industrialized countries have bad-loan ratios of less than 2 percent, so there was still room for improvement with Taiwan's bad-loan problem and financial transparency, S&P said. \n"The local banking sector should continue to reinforce its risk management before the arrival of the next economic recession," the ratings agency said in a statement.
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
’WHITE BOX’: The open platform would give local firms access to Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop 5G telecom equipment and tap into the global market The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday introduced a new 5G “open lab” in collaboration with US-based information technology and networking giant Cisco Systems Inc to address the rapidly growing “white box” 5G networking equipment market. The open lab will be a platform where Taiwanese manufacturers can access Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop their own 5G telecom equipment, such as small-cell base stations, network switches, modems and Internet of things (IoT) devices, a ministry statement said. The open platform would allow Taiwanese manufacturers to tap into the lucrative 5G telecom equipment market, which was previously monopolized by Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB
Nintendo Co is raising its target for Switch production to about 25 million units this fiscal year, people familiar with the matter said, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic keeps lifting demand and component shortages ease. The Kyoto, Japan-based company, which in April hiked orders to 22 million units by March next year, is asking partners to tack on another few million units, said the people, who did not want to be identified discussing internal goals. Assembly partners plan to work at maximum capacity through December. The new production target suggests that Nintendo is likely to outperform its Switch sales forecast of 19 million
‘BIG LOSS’: This year might see the last generation of Huawei’s Kirin chips, as their production would stop next month because they are made using US technology Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is running out of processor chips to make smartphones due to US sanctions and would be forced to stop production of its own most advanced chips, a company executive has said, in a sign of growing damage to Huawei’s business from US pressure. Huawei, one of the biggest producers of smartphones and network equipment, is at the center of US-Chinese tension over technology and security. Washington last year cut off Huawei’s access to US components and technology, and those penalties were tightened in May, when the White House barred vendors worldwide from using US