HKTDC to open local branch
The Ministry of Economic Affairs approved an application by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC, 香港貿易發展局) to set up a branch in Taiwan, a government statement said on Friday. HKTDC officially applied to set up its branch in Taiwan on Aug. 8, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA, 外貿協會), the HKTDC’s Taiwanese counterpart, said in the statement. Custom statistics show that bilateral trade between Taiwan and Hong Kong reached US$39.8 billion last year, accounting for 8.54 percent of Taiwan’s trade.
Israel agrees to pay wages
Ending a tense standoff, an Israeli company said on Friday it had agreed to pay wages to Chinese laborers who were working on a luxury resort project that was suddenly halted by the global financial crisis. Ashtrom Group Ltd said it would pay the 60 workers who had prevented employees of the Israeli company from leaving the work site on the tiny island of West Caicos, said Ygal Yancovitz, a Miami-based regional manager of the Israeli company. Yancovitz denied the Chinese laborers had taken Ashtrom’s employees hostage, as some had described.
Fonterra could drop Sanlu
Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd could sell its stake in a Chinese dairy venture at the center of the milk scandal that killed four babies and sickened 53,000 children. Fonterra, the world’s biggest dairy exporter, said talks were under way on a third-party acquisition of Sanlu Group Co (三鹿). The Auckland, New Zealand-based group owns 43 percent of Sanlu. “Discussions are continuing around a number of facets of Sanlu’s future,” Fonterra chief executive officer Andrew Ferrier said in a statement. “These include the possibility of Sanlu being acquired by a third party.” Feihe Dairy, a subsidiary of American Dairy Inc, was invited by the Chinese government yesterday to a meeting to discuss the future of Sanlu, Xinhua news agency said.
Production cuts announced
Japanese motorcycle makers are cutting production as demand in the US and Europe shrinks because of the global economic crisis, a report said yesterday. Top motorcycle maker Honda Motor Co intends to slash production by 10 percent for the year to March from 12 months earlier to 400,000 bikes, the Nikkei Shimbun said. Second-ranked Yamaha Motor Co has lowered its production forecasts by 20 percent for 250cc or larger bikes at its main factory in Iwata in central Japan to 350,000 to 360,000 units. Suzuki Motor Corp will reduce domestic output of motorcycles and buggy carts for the year to March by 7 percent from a year earlier to 509,000 units, the daily reported.
Bolivia to buy Ashmore shares
The Bolivian government announced late on Friday an agreement to buy all shares owned by the British company Ashmore Energy International in the local gas pipeline company Transredes. The deal followed President Evo Morales’ decision in June to nationalize the pipeline, which had led Ashmore to file for international arbitration in a Swedish court. A local media report said Ashmore wanted US$500 million in compensation for its share in the pipeline. The total value of the deal, under which Ashmore’s 25 percent stake in Transredes would be transferred to Bolivia’s national oil and gas company YPFB, has not been disclosed.
‘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
CORPORATE SCANDAL: Cathay Life has invested NT$13.3 billion in Bank Mayapada since 2015, but the latest loss of NT$8.8 billion has completely written off its investment Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) yesterday said it would recognize an investment loss of NT$8.8 billion (US$298.1 million) in Indonesia’s Bank Mayapada Internasional Tbk PT due to concerns about the lender’s operations amid a corporate scandal. The company said it would revise its earnings result for June, from a net profit of NT$6.52 billion to a net loss of NT$520 million, its first monthly loss over the past 17 months. After booking an investment loss of NT$5.2 billion in Bank Mayapada earlier this year, Cathay Life has so far recognized total investment losses of NT$14 billion in the lender, executive vice president
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday reported that revenue last month expanded 25 percent annually, but fell 12.8 percent month-on-month to NT$105.96 billion (US$3.59 billion). In the first seven months of this year, the chipmaker’s revenue surged 33.6 percent to NT$727.26 billion, compared with NT$544.46 billion a year earlier. TSMC has said it aims to grow its revenue by more than 20 percent this year. The company has since May 15 stopped taking new orders from Huawei Technologies Co (華為), its second-biggest customer after Apple Inc, due to the US’ restrictions on exports containing US technologies. TSMC has no plans to
The US stock market has been on a tear, yet the country’s economy is in the dumps. So why do so many people believe — undoubtedly incorrectly — that the stock market has decoupled from reality? The economy many people experience, while bleak, is local, personal and, for the most part, either not publicly traded or plays only a small part in the stock market’s moves. To explain why these personal experiences have so little effect on equity markets, we must look more closely at the market role of the weakest industry sectors. The surprising conclusion: The most visible and economically vulnerable