POSCO’s Q3 profit falls
South Korea’s top steelmaker, POSCO, reported an 8.6 percent fall in third-quarter net profit yesterday, blaming the higher cost of raw materials. Net profit for July to last month fell to 1.044 trillion won (US$923 million) from 1.142 trillion won a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Operating profit rose 9.1 percent to 1.111 trillion won year-on-year, while sales were up 24 percent at 8.524 trillion won. “Higher raw materials costs restricted operating profit so we will focus on reducing input costs further,” the steelmaker said in a statement.
India grants RIM extension
India has given BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) an extended deadline of Jan. 31 to provide its intelligence agencies a way of accessing all its services, a report said yesterday. Citing a home ministry note, the Economic Times newspaper said the government had decided to extend the original Oct. 31 deadline by 90 days. It will be RIM’s third reprieve as it seeks to end a three-year standoff with the Indian security agencies which have threatened to shut down services offered on its handsets unless they are given access to secure, encrypted data.
Industrial output rises 5.6%
India’s industrial output rose just 5.6 percent year-on-year in August, a sharp decline from a revised 15.2 percent surge the previous month, official data showed yesterday. The figure was well below economists’ forecasts of a 9.9 percent expansion in output and the 10.6 percent growth posted in August last year. Manufacturing, which has an 80 percent weight in the industrial output index, grew 5.9 percent, compared with 10.6 percent in August last year, the federal statistics office said in a statement.
Confidence index drops
Japanese household sentiment slid for a third month last month, adding to signs of a slowdown in domestic demand. The confidence index dropped to 41.2 from 42.4 in August, the Cabinet Office said yesterday in Tokyo. A number blow 50 means pessimists outnumber optimists. The report underscores concern that personal consumption will slow in the coming months as government stimulus measures aimed at encouraging consumers to buy cars and electronics fade.
China to resume oil imports
An Argentine official said Monday that China had agreed to lift its suspension of soybean oil imports from the South American nation. “We have information that [the Chinese] are going to allow Argentine shipments of soybean oil,” Argentine Agriculture Minister Julian Dominguez told the state news agency Telam. China halted oil shipments in April of the commodity. Officials never provided an explanation for the suspension, but said it was related to Chinese health concerns.
IPO could raise US$4bn
Petronas Chemicals Bhd, the petrochemicals unit of Malaysia’s state oil company, may raise as much as US$4 billion in the Southeast Asian nation’s biggest initial public offer (IPO), said two people familiar with the matter. Banks advising on the sale set an indicative price of 5.20 ringgit (US$1.67) per share, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The company had originally planned to raise about US$2 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said in June.
RESTRUCTURING: Taichung and Taoyuan profited most from local firms moving back high-end manufacturing amid the US-China decoupling of trade ties, the ministry said The government’s “Invest in Taiwan” initiative might this year see NT$627.1 billion (US$21.7 billion) of investment pledges realized, with several firms raising stakes and two dropouts due to customer losses, Minister of Economic Affairs (MOEA) Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said yesterday. Wang made the statement at the monthly meeting of the Third Wednesday Club, a local trade group featuring the top 100 firms of each business sector. Since early last year, the government has launched three programs intended to help local companies grapple with US-China trade rows and the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly through moving production lines back to Taiwan. Thus far, the ministry
JOBS AT RISK? Most Cathay Dragon routes are to be operated by Cathay Pacific or a subsidiary, but it was unclear how Taiwanese workers would be affected Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (國泰航空) yesterday said it is planning new flight services for Taiwan as it announced a corporate restructuring that included the shutdown of its regional subsidiary, Cathay Dragon (國泰港龍), and could lead to job cuts in Taiwan. Cathay Pacific said the shutdown means that the one round-trip service between Taichung and Hong Kong per day and seven round-trip services between Kaohsiung and Hong Kong operated by Cathay Dragon prior to the COVID-19 pandemic would be terminated. “The parent company is planning a new schedule between Taiwan and Hong Kong,” Cathay Pacific assistant manager for corporate communications Moses Hou (侯恩錫)
OVERHEATED MARKET?: The gauge would be designed to provide more reliable information than private-sector data, and help improve policymaking, the council said The National Development Council (NDC) is considering creating a business climate index on Taiwan’s property market, allowing policymakers to better monitor market movements and intervene if necessary, NDC Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said yesterday. Kung made the remarks at a meeting of the legislature’s Economic Committee where lawmakers from across party lines voiced concerns about housing price hikes driven by capital repatriation. Kung said that the council is assessing the possibility of creating an index designed to provide more accountable and transparent information than data provided by private-sector market analysts, and could help improve policymaking. The council would compile a report on
STOCK MARKETS TAIEX closes slightly higher The TAIEX closed slightly higher yesterday as market sentiment remained cautious over the Nov. 3 US presidential election. Contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) was again the anchor stabilizing the broader market, preventing the main board from falling into negative territory at the end of the session, dealers said. The TAIEX closed up 14.88 points, or 0.12 percent, at 12,877.25, on turnover of NT$167.982 billion (US$5.81 billion). TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock on the local market, rose 0.44 percent after fluctuating between NT$451 and NT$456. The semiconductor subindex and the bellwether electronics sector