Industry, retail sectors surge
Growth in industrial output and retail sales accelerated last month, with consumption increasing at its fastest pace since December last year, official data showed yesterday, in signs of renewed strength in the world’s second-largest economy. Industrial production rose 8.8 percent year-on-year last month, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a statement, up from 8.7 percent in April. Retail sales, a key gauge of consumer spending, increased 12.5 percent last month from a year ago, the NBS said in a separate statement, up from a gain of 11.9 percent in April and the highest since 13.6 percent at the end of last year.
Fitch announces downgrade
Fitch ratings agency yesterday revised the outlook on the nation to negative from stable and affirmed its credit rating at “BBB,” near the bottom of the investment-grade scale. The ratings agency said the outlook revision was partly due to a strike at platinum mines, the country’s longest-ever mining strike, which began in January when workers downed tools demanding higher wages. Fitch said South Africa’s outlook for growth had deteriorated after a contraction in the first quarter of this year, and it revised its GDP forecast down to 1.7 percent for this year from the 2.8 percent that it issued during the last country review in December.
Minister faces judge
Former finance minister George Papaconstantinou has appeared before an investigating judge to answer criminal charges over his handling of data on Greeks with Swiss bank accounts. Papaconstantinou, who handled the nation’s first international bailout in 2010, was released on Thursday on bail of 30,000 euros (US$40,000) and ordered to appear at a police station monthly. He denies charges of breach of duty and tampering with a document, arguing he is the victim of a smear campaign. The accusations stem from the fate of a list of about 2,000 names provided by French authorities in 2010 as Greece’s economy was struck by a major crisis.
Intel raises guidance
Intel Corp on Thursday raised its revenue guidance, saying sales of computers for businesses have been stronger than expected. The world’s largest chipmaker is now forecasting revenue of US$13.4 billion to US$14 billion in the second quarter. The Santa Clara, California-based company had expected US$12.5 billion to US$13.5 billion in revenue in the quarter. Intel also expects stronger profit margins. It also said it expects revenue to grow this year. In January, Intel said its sales would be about the same as last year’s total of US$52.71 billion.
CEO payments rise 10-fold
Pay for chief executives of US companies has soared nearly 10-fold over the past 35 years to an average of US$15.2 million last year, according to a study released on Thursday. Total compensation, including bonuses and stock options, jumped 937 percent since 1978, said a report by the non-partisan Economic Policy Institute (EPI), which is partially funded by labor unions. The ratio of CEO pay to that of average workers rose from 29.9-1 in 1978 to 295.9-1 last year, the study said. EPI tied the shifts in CEO compensation to the fortunes of the stock market. Policy ideas proposed in the report include raising taxes on the wealthiest and removing tax incentives that promote stock options.
POOR INTERNAL CONTROLS: Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa said the company is expected to get back on track while its chairman is suspended The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$939,415) for a reckless investment that endangered its solvency, and suspended its chairman Eugene Wu (吳東進) for poor supervision. The penalty is the second-highest in a single case after Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) was fined NT$30 million in September last year and its chairman Du Ying-tzyong (杜英宗) suspended for two years, the commission said. In three rounds of special and regular examinations conducted since last year, the commission found that Shin Kong Life had given too much power to an asset and liability management committee
HEAVY INVESTMENT: Moody’s affirmed the firm’s ‘Aa3’ rating with a ‘stable’ outlook due to its leading position in the industry and ability to match customer requirements Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) revenue this year is expected to increase about 21 percent to NT$1.29 trillion (US$44.01 billion) from NT$1.07 trillion last year, driven by strong demand for advanced 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips mainly used in smartphones and high-performance computing devices, a Moody’s Investors Service report on Wednesday said. TSMC’s rate of revenue growth next year is to increase to 7.5 percent, the ratings agency said. The company, which supplies 5-nanometer chips for Apple Inc’s new iPad series, has introduced the advanced chips ahead of its competitors and gained a significant share of the market for the foundry industry’s
Sony Corp has cut its estimated Play Station 5 (PS5) production for this fiscal year by 4 million units, down to about 11 million, following production issues with its custom-designed system-on-chip (SOC) for the new console, people familiar with the matter said. The Tokyo-based electronics giant in July boosted orders with suppliers in anticipation of heightened demand for gaming in the holiday season and beyond, as people spend more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the company has come up against manufacturing issues, such as production yields as low as 50 percent for its SOC, which have cut into
O2O BICYCLE SHOW: The Taiwan Bicycle Show next year is to be online to offline, with forums, audio-visual conferences and livestreaming of the offline events Local bicycle makers expect demand to continue outpacing supply due to orders triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, with some companies seeing orders back up through next year. “Next year is all full in terms of orders. Our lead time on components is one year,” Giant Manufacturing Co Ltd (巨大機械) chairwoman Bonnie Tu (杜綉珍) told a news conference in Taipei organized by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) to announce next year’s Taipei Cycle Show. The pandemic has reduced bicycle supplies and increased demand around the world, Robert Wu (吳盈進), chairman of KMC (Kuei Meng) International Inc (桂盟國際), one of the world’s