Industrial output surges
Industrial output surged 1.1 percent last month powered by manufacturing, where the automobile sector drove a fourth consecutive monthly gain, the Federal Reserve reported on Monday. The rebound came after a narrow contraction in October, and was also helped by a jump in utility output due to colder-than-average weather last month, the Fed said. The manufacturing sector gained 0.6 percent in the month, and utilities 3.9 percent.
Europe’s new car sales rise
European new car sales rose a third consecutive month last month, the longest period of gains in four years, as demand for autos from Volkswagen AG and Renault SA contributed to signs that an industrywide decline is ending. Registrations for last month increased 0.9 percent from a year earlier to 975,281 vehicles, the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers Association said yesterday in a statement.
Google buys robot firm
Big Dog, a four-legged robot that can climb muddy hills, and Cheetah, a robot which can outrun the fastest human, are among the robots that now belong to Google Inc. The world’s largest Internet search company acquired Boston Dynamics, a privately held company best known for building robots that look as if they belong in a science-fiction movie and which are often co-developed or funded by the US military. The acquisition is the latest by Google’s secretive robotics division, led by Andy Rubin, the former boss of the company’s Android mobile operating system. Google’s new robotics division has acquired more than a half-dozen other robotics companies.
JPMorgan unit up for sale
JPMorgan Chase & Co is seeking to sell a global investment unit in a push to simplify operations by paring non-essential holdings, a person familiar with the matter said. JPMorgan began offering its Global Special Opportunities unit, which has about US$2 billion in assets, to potential buyers in the past few weeks, the person said. Private-equity firms Blackstone Group LP, Carlyle Group LP and KKR & Co among possible bidders for the business, which could fetch US$1 billion, the Financial Times reported on Monday, citing unidentified people familiar with the situation.
State oil monopoly broken
The government’s controversial energy reform breaking a 75-year national oil monopoly will be enacted immediately now that a majority of states have approved it, the president said on Monday. A standing committee in the Congress still has to approve the change, designed to lure foreign investment, but this is expected in a matter of days “and once it happens I will promulgate the reform immediately,” President Enrique Pena Nieto said during a visit to Turkey, according to a statement from his office.
Woman to chair Lockheed
Defense giant Lockheed Martin on Monday announced that chief executive Marillyn Hewson is to take over as chairperson of the Pentagon contractor in January. Hewson, who became the first female chief executive at Lockheed in January, is to assume the top spot on the board with the retirement of current chairman Robert Stevens.
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